O is for Outcasts: In the world of Gossamer Steel, some of the Dravidian pirates are classed as outcasts due to their low caste, and yet they become essential to the future of Bhārata (India sub-continent), even though some also see them as outlaws.
An outcast is a person with social stigma or untouchability, who is rejected or ‘cast out’, as from home or society, or in some way excluded, looked down upon, ignored, or ostracised. On the Indian sub-continent the word pariah comes from the Tamil paraiyar, pl. of paraiyan “drummer”. At festivals it was the hereditary duty of members of the largest of the lower castes of southern India – parai is a “large festival drum.” The meaning of pariah was extended to embrace many groups outside the so-called clean caste groups and these low-caste groups, formerly known as “untouchables”, were renamed by the Indian social reformer Mahatma Gandhi as Harijans (children of the god Hari Visnu, or, simply, children of God).
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute or kill them. Outlawry was thus one of the harshest penalties in the legal system. In the common law of England, a “Writ of Outlawry” deprived the victim of all legal rights of the law, and others could kill him on sight as if he were a wolf or other wild animal. Women were declared “waived” rather than outlawed but it was effectively the same punishment. Outlawry has existed in many countries, from Scandinavia and Germany, to Australia. It has also been used as a political tool, when a regime declares the activities of its opponents illegal, even piratical.
In Gossamer Steel the oppressive Kali Cartel tries to marginalise the Dravidian League by portraying them as pirates, although they are struggling like others for what remains of the Earth.
O is also for Ond, the spiritual energy of The Country’s inhabitants.
PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:
A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.
My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.