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Old Aug 28 2013, 10:10 PM   #1
Lily
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Default The islands

One of my chief musings during a wakeful night is, what was life like for the banished on the islands. Specially as I've just re-read Red Star Rising as my last thing at night relaxing read.

They dumped Chalkin, apparently on a deserted island with only fresh water and shelter, and everything he would need for a week. So what happened after that? Chalkin probably didn't know how to light a fire, much less catch a fish or go foraging for edible plants.

I like to think that they visited each week to check on the culprit and bring fresh supplies, possibly at a time the prisoner would not be aware of the visit. But in reality, they're condemning the prisoner to a slow death, aren't they?

I also thought, maybe there's a small holding on the island, at the other end from where a prisoner is dropped (I drop, I stay!!!). And that eventually the prisoner would find the holding and possibly, accepted there.
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Old Aug 29 2013, 02:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: The islands

...I think the point was to do the death penalty without actually doing the death penalty. They gave the prisoners a fighting chance. Most people, when desperate, can figure out how to find food, water, and shelter. If they can't, they can't. Honestly it's less cruel than the manual castration of the guards...
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Old Aug 30 2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: The islands

There's another angle of this exile to the islands thing that's always puzzled me. If they were exiling people for that long, eventually the islands would build up a population of outlaws. And then what? What if they found some way of making a boat.

Ever read "Lord of the Flies?"
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Old Aug 30 2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: The islands

During a Pass, do they provide them with a flamethrower and firestone? If not, they'd have no means of saving the trees they'd need to build a boat. I wonder if the nearest Weyr does a quick run down the island chain during Threadfall?
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Old Aug 30 2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: The islands

I doubt it. Why risk the lives of dragons and riders for the sake of someone effectively sentenced to solitary confinement until death because of heinous crimes?
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Old Aug 30 2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: The islands

They call it Exile, but in reality I think it's more a death sentence.
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Old Aug 31 2013, 02:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: The islands

As far as I recall, no contact is made with the exiled, outside of the checking to see that they are on the island in Skies of Pern that is.
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Old Aug 31 2013, 02:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: The islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily View Post
One of my chief musings during a wakeful night is, what was life like for the banished on the islands. Specially as I've just re-read Red Star Rising as my last thing at night relaxing read.

They dumped Chalkin, apparently on a deserted island with only fresh water and shelter, and everything he would need for a week. So what happened after that? Chalkin probably didn't know how to light a fire, much less catch a fish or go foraging for edible plants.
Lord Holders did send their children to other Holds for fostering, so Chalkin may have learned some useful skills (e.g. on overnight trips or while hunting), even if he never used them again as Lord Holder.

I assume that as the Pass grew closer, they would have made sure to use islands that had a cave for shelter. Beyond that, the islands were 'tropical and quite habitable'. Between Turn's End and the first Threadfall, Chalkin would have had about 3 months to figure out how to survive. The tropical vegetation wouldn't last long under Threadfall, so he'd have to think ahead and find some seeds, plant them in makeshift containers, and bring the seedlings inside during Falls. Maybe Chalkin wouldn't think of such solutions, but some people probably managed that way.
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Old Aug 31 2013, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: The islands

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Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
...I think the point was to do the death penalty without actually doing the death penalty. They gave the prisoners a fighting chance. Most people, when desperate, can figure out how to find food, water, and shelter. If they can't, they can't. Honestly it's less cruel than the manual castration of the guards...
Certainly more of a chance than being staked out during Threadfall.

I'm guessing they would have used numbweed during the castration. The object was to prevent the guards from ever committing rape again, not to torture them.
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Old Aug 31 2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: The islands

The guards might not have died if Chalkin had not put them into the "cold storage" level at Bitra.

But - Chalkin only had one week's supplies on his island. Which presumably was more than food. So was the island already set up with crops that only needed nurturing to provide food? They would have provided a nice little holding for a group

Did I read somewhere, that the "drop-ees" on an island had prospered and there were families developing?
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Old Sep 1 2013, 01:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: The islands

These were simply unused islands that happened to be covered in tropical vegetation, some of which would be edible or could be used for their fibre content --- if the person marooned there knew which were edible or fibrous. Otherwise, there were fish in the sea if the person knew how to catch them. The point was that the person marooned on the island had failed to observe the requirements of civilised behaviour, and was now being deprived of its benefits and left to manage however he/she could.

During an Interval, it would be a hard life at first, and then a somewhat boring and lonely one, once the person figured out how to get a balanced diet and provide for clothing, shelter and other needs. During a Pass they might have to live on what the sea could provide, which might not be a balanced diet.

I think the reports of families on the islands were in a later novel, e.g. ATWOP or Skies of Pern. I haven't had time to find the reference, though I vaguely remember seeing it.

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Old Sep 1 2013, 05:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: The islands

After Robinton was attacked, the perpetrators were allowed to bring their families into exile.
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Old Sep 1 2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: The islands

Just found the reference in RSR/RE to families being on the islands. After Chalkin's murderous guards were sentenced to the islands, Thea asked:

"Are there many on the islands? I mean, there have been others sequestered there. Even families, I read, but that was years ago."

So, families may have been sent there (as in ATWOP), but I can't see anyone choosing to go during a Pass, unless the Weyrs did provide some protection.
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Old Sep 1 2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: The islands

They chose islands with shelters.

I once wrote a fan fic based on a girl who escapes from the island. The island was ruled by the lord and his chosen people. Everyone else was very badly treated and any child whose parents died was taken by the lord as virtual slaves.

I have often wondered how the children born on the islands liked living on the island. Did any of them every escape. The girl in my story escaped when a portion of a cliff gave way in an earthquake leaving a small beach and with the help of a dolphin she had saved.
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Old Sep 2 2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: The islands

That sounds like an interesting story, Mawra. Suppose they might like it if it was all they knew, or they could dream of leaving and doing something else. Would probably depend on the individual, what their life was like, and what their parents had to say about their lives before exile.
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Old Sep 3 2013, 08:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: The islands

The Islands are referred to in RSR/DE as the Southern Islands, so they're probably the archipelago running north from Monaco Bay. If anyone escaped and went south to the continent, they'd be in fertile country with some degree of grub-protection (though they might not know about that). Any other direction means more islands or a considerable amount of open sea. A friendly dolphin would take them in the safest direction to avoid drowning --- though landing on an island with other criminals might not be a improvement.
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Old Dec 3 2013, 09:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: The islands

Yeah, I think that would be the point. "Root hog, or die!" is an old saying meaning either you learn how to survive or you die.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 11:01 AM   #18
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Do you think it likely that the lords sent into exile with common men would have taken charge of everyone or that the common men would have tossed him off a cliff or something?
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Old Dec 6 2013, 11:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: The islands

No idea, but it'd make a great ficlet!
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Old Dec 6 2013, 02:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: The islands

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Do you think it likely that the lords sent into exile with common men would have taken charge of everyone or that the common men would have tossed him off a cliff or something?
Given that in most cases the common men would be petty criminals or worse, I think the lord would have to keep a low profile. And if those already there had been maltreated by their lord, they might be inclined to retaliate in kind against any lord who turned up --- kick him around, give him all the grunt-work, humiliate him, feed him the gristly portions of meat, etc.

To have any status at all, he would have to prove himself a valuable member of the island society in his own right.

During an interval, though, anyone with a forceful personality would have a shot at leadership.

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