Zakonon Profiles: Nalia Dirinteso

Custonian Name: Nalia Dtirintoeso นาเลีย ตีรินเทอโซ
Sex: Female

Country of Origin: Custonia

Hometown: Custonia/Actasifin, village near Stratin
Profile
     Nalia was born to a small family in Custonia. She brought up in modest conditions, but was raised in a quite religious family, living under the influence of Mal-Grei. She grew up as a responsible innocent young girl, under the care of her mother. Her father was a Mal-Grei priest, and would often preach in the front to inspire the men.
     During the siege of Custonia however, her father was off preaching elsewhere. She was only six years old. Nalia’s mother did her best to protect her and motivate her throughout the entire siege. However, during the final assault, the Partapin Colonial Army broke in. Nalia’s house was struck with a cannon, setting it on fire with her inside. Her mother tried to save her but was not able to get through the debris. Shortly after, she requested a stranger to save her daughter from the wreckage. Once she was saved however, her mother was struck by a second cannon, killing her instantly.
     For near a month and a half, Nalia fled and wandered through Custonia with the unknown stranger. The stranger initially tried to give her away to someone, though they ended up bonding and ended up carrying her all the way to Stratin. Unfortunately, the city was already full of refugees, and both Nalia and the stranger was left in the streets for three days. One day, the stranger had saved a farmer from a robbery. The farmer, Saheroi Chistin, was very thankful and in return, the farmer brought him to his hometown of Actasifin.
     For two weeks, Nalia and the stranger lived with the Chistin household. Throughout this whole ordeal, Nalia never learned her name, for the stranger would never give it. Nalia was loved by the Chistin family, especially her good behavior. This all changed when people all over Custonia were drafted for the army to fight the Partapins. Saheroi and the stranger were two of those drafted, and Nalia was left with Saheroi’s wife, Catiel, and her three year old son, Tisian.
     For a few months, Saheroi and the stranger were away, and Catiel continued to care for both children. Despite the Chistin family’s belief in the Mal religion, under the stranger’s request, Catiel worked hard to allow Nalia to grow up under her own Mal belief. Unfortunately after another month, Saheroi Chistin was killed during the assault to retake Custonia. As for the stranger, he was very much alive, but never had courage to confront Catiel for failing to protect her husband. The stranger left a note for Catiel about his permanent stay in the army as penance for her husband’s death, and was never heard from again.
     Nalia was to live in the Chistin home for twelve more years. By that time, Custonia had retaken most of their lost territory, though most of the mountains alternate between the control of the Imperials, the native tribes, or nature. Catiel cared for Nalia as if she was her own daughter. Tisian seemingly grew up to be a disappointment, lazing around and looking at nothing but girls. Nalia seemed to keep her mentally stable enough, supporting the Chistin household throughout the years.
     Nalia was not able to get formal education, but through her Mal religion, she was able to study at a Mal temple, schooling with the priests. The head priest there was particularly fond of Nalia, as he noted her for being one of the nicest and helpful people in the temple.   By the time she was thirteen, she had completed her primary education.
     Nalia spent the rest of her days at Actasifin in the farm. She proved to be a helpful at home, but she still aspired to learn. Tisian was not a particularly scholastic student and often returned home abandoning his books, which Nalia often read herself. She was able to teach herself about mathematics, High Vigosian and basic science. By the time she was eighteen, she proved to be more knowledgeable than Tisian himself.
     Nalia’s life at the farm was not without issues. The farm sometimes did not produce as much as it should, and so the family would go into the city of Stratin to buy and materials needed. On one occasion, Nalia went into the city and noticed that there were more soldiers around the area than usual. This was the point where the drafting system was taking new levels.
     The drafting system was about to change Nalia’s life. The feminist movement in Custonia had demanded equal rights for women, some of which have been delivered. However, when it came to manpower, the Custonian government found a loophole in the equal demands of the feminists, allowing them to draft females. Though intended to intimidate the feminists from making anymore demands, many agreed nonetheless as a compromise.
     As the invasion of Dernago forces grew near, Nalia became one of those drafted into the army. Her insistence that her religion discourages her to kill was ignored, as many people with the Mal religion had already volunteered.
     As a drafted citizen, her placement is under the command of the Stratin Custonian Military. Here, she was placed in the 5th Regiment, 4th Battalion as a footwoman. The sudden change from a civilian to a soldier was shocking for Nalia, but her struggle to live on this life, along with her religion, would become harder than anyone can realize.

Military Structure for the Zakonon Universe: The Custonian National Army

I’m currently creating two narratives of my world simultaneously. One of them is the ancient Vigos, where I’m working on both the First, Second and Third Era of Vigos. This includes the Vigosian Empire and the Wars of the Dansia. I’m also creating another narrative deep into the Fourth Era, where technology has improved, turning from spears to firearms, catapults to cannons. This one is mostly set in the island of Zakonon, one that is battled over different colonies, many of which indirectly resulted from events in Vigos.

For now, I will be discussing the military structure of the Zakonon universe. The Zakonon island at this time involve three major factions: The Kingdom of Custonia that recently turned into a republic, the Bomirian Colony of Dernago, which often acts autonomously and the Partapin Empire, particularly its colony of Sterfoi. There are some small native tribes that will eventually play a large part in the war, but I want to focus on that of the Big Three.

For Custonia, its national army does have a structure. The old structure that required massive number of troops had gone since military reforms have adapted the army into smaller units, albeit still quite large. Compared to the tall structure of the Dernago and the wide structure of the Partapins, the Custonians seem to have the middle ground, breaking the army into units, but still with a large number of soldiers in each unit. This is the structure:

Unit Unit (Vigosian) Unit (Custonian) Number
Army Tetranecana Tedtrenaekoen Multiple divisions
Division Deivian Dehfean 10000
Brigade Itdeivian Itdehfean 1000
Regiment Doldeivian Düldehfean 200
Battalion Necana Naekoen 40
Squad Berbanecana Baeabenaekoen 10
Tent Party Caefonecana Kehfonaekoen 5

The way to see this is starting from the Tent Party. Originally, the tent party were five soldiers who would often shelter in a single tent, thus  a tent party. However, this is mostly a term used for splitting a squad into two, each being a tent party. The original meaning is lost as members of tent parties are not permanent, with each member interchangeable when the situation sees fit. The tent parties are one half of a squad, whom fight as one unit. In the event that the squad fights individually, it might split the unit into two tent parties, which is useful in small ambushes.

The battalion is made up of four squads. Each squad in a battalion is designated with a letter, like Squad Ara, Squad Ber, etc. These small units often fight as one unit in large battles, but may split into squads for smaller operations. Five of these battalions make a regiment, a unit of 200 soldiers commanded by a major. They mostly fight in larger open battles, where they were often used to secure strategic points. Commanding officers of regiments are often promoted from those commanding one of the battalions itself.

A brigade consists of five regiments, and are often used in larger battles and operations that cover a wide area. Like the regiment, officers commanding brigades are often promoted from those commanding regiments in the brigade. However, this is not necessarily true, as officers could be appointed from outside of the brigade itself.

A division is much larger, consisting of ten brigades. The officers commanding them are often appointed outside of the division itself by those higher in command. The division is used for large movements and operations, taking whole settlements rather than capturing strategic points. When an offensive or defensive operation is larger, it might take more than one division.

There is also a system of officer ranks, indicating who commands what organizational structure:

Unit CO CO (Vigosian) CO (Custonian)
Army General Isculnen Jeskolnin
Division Minor General Culdeiviani Koldehfeani
Brigade Colonel Deiviani Dehfeani
Regiment Major Culcommaten Kolkommadtin
Battalion Captain Commaten Kommadtin
Squad Lieutenant Tiscerian Tescearoen
Tent Party Sergeant Trainen Troeinin

Back With a Plan

Before this I was still posting stuff about how I made Gochin in the past. However, I think I have to either cancel or leave it at a hiatus for certain reasons.

First, I really don’t know where to go from there. My goal is to further the realm of what Gochin could be, but I need to spend energy on that rather than focusing on how I did it before. Don’t get me wrong, its good to learn from the past. However, I’m spending too much time describing it rather than doing something about it, which is why I’m holding in off.

Second, I want to spend time working on a plan. So far, I have made a sort of checklist that should get me covered for the island of Vigos. My main problem right now is constructing a narrative because the frameworks of the setting is not yet completed. I have a fairly good idea of a narrative for my Zakonon version of the story, but for now, I want to focus on building the ancient world of Vigos, so that there will be something to derive from. As of now, this is my checklist:

Activity One Done All Done
Create maps
Create a timeline and find a limit
Create a history for each state
Create characters for the history and the narrative
Create a functional language for the people, or describe them
Create flags for nations
Create poetry and songs for cultural and narrative purposes
Create a government system if possible
Create a mythos for the people
Create a religion
Create certain infrastructure
Create important structures or symbolic objects
Create a system of technology particular to a region
Create important documents
Create traditions
Possibly create ideologies
Create nationalistic regions/ethnic groups
Create trade routes
Create alliance or dependency systems
Create a judicial/legal system, if any
Create a military structure
Create certain important social values
Create existence of certain natural resources
Create a diplomacy system/foreign policies
Create a taxation/incentive system
Create important institutions
Create certain natural issues (disasters, disease)
Create societies perhaps
Create familial connections
Create important pieces of art

I have a lot to work with right now and I have only got a few of this done. The “one done” represent that I have at least one version existing and all done is when I feel it is complete. The map is a bit tricky because political (and sometimes geographical maps) change overtime. The map I have now is that of Imperial Vigos, but that’s definitely now how the world looks like in the past or in the future, so I need to consider this.

I also have to set a limit for my world. This is literally creating history and history never ends. However, you have to stop at a certain point when creating a narrative. Tolkien wrote both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and I’m sure he wrote something in between. However, he didn’t write a story in between, so I have to know when to stop.

I don’t know when I’ll update (my computer is still broken so I’m without a video to edit or shoot). For now, its just the blog, so stay tuned.

Vigos

A while ago I made a plan about what to do with the Second Era of Vigos, when Vigos was ruled by a single empire during the Naroche Dynasty. To show this empire in full, I need to show the politics of it and the map. As it is as empire, it will likely be separated into provinces and regions like what the Romans do. So this is what I did:

Naroche Vigos

An Open Letter to the Thai Education System

For the past 16 years of my life, I have been learning under the International Baccalaureate curriculum. I learn at KIS International School and I am really thankful for this education. My English is proficient and the school’s way of having us write our answers has contributed much to the improvement of our critical thinking. As of now I have conditional offers from four universities in England with good reputations.I am still awaiting responses from two universities in the United States and one university in Hong Kong. Despite the difficulties and the hardships of going through this competitive and difficult curriculum, I feel happy that this education has given me so much and has allowed me to reach new heights.

This of course, leads me to talk about another thing that really makes me angry and sad at the same time.

I live in Thailand and I am often approached by people who talk about how hard their education is and how hard it is to write an essay. Granted I can get a bit mad because I have to write an essay every week but that’s not the problem. The people who I’m referring to are Thai students under the Thai Education system. Now I need to tell you that is going to be a rant about the system so get ready.

First, good things. I do like how the Thai education system is still organized. You get three years of kindergarten, 6 years of elementary education and 3 years of secondary education. Top it off with another three years of high school and there you get to go for a Bachelor’s degree. However, it being organized is probably the only good thing I can think of because I can’t believe that there are more things wrong about it as well.

The big problem in Thailand is that we are one of the worst in the region. Apparently, we are second lowest in English proficiency in Asia as well, which fills me with even more anger and disappointment of the state of my country. Anyone from any country would not stand for their country being the worst at something. I already heard that out of 8 countries, Thailand was the only one that failed to reach the goals that CITES has made in relation to cracking down on illegal ivory trade. That would be an outrage to anyone.

One of my concerns is the way the questions and exams are answered. I had learned that filling the circles is really just the only way the exams have been carried out in Thai schools. I am not sure if there are any short answer questions, but I know that having exams exclusively by filling out circles is completely horrendous. The problem with that is that the students can just guess the answer. Not only that, because even though they can see the answer, when it comes to answering a real question, they will not be able to explain it. This is a problem for many Thai students going abroad to universities, where examinations involve essays. Many Thai students have struggled because they had never understood how to explain something. The system can get people into universities, but not survive them.

Many Thai schools I have heard will allow students to pass, disregarding whether they were under the failing grade or not. Schools do this to look good, as do many other institutions. However, if everybody passes, then there seems to be no reason to do hard work to pass. Students need to do hard work to pass. They need the experience and the knowledge to understand things when they have to write essays, explain theories, and actually practice them in real life. Students will grow into adults of the future, and the only thing we have been training them to do is to fill circles.

I don’t have much else to say but I really hope Thailand improves its education and literacy in the future. The future generation of Thailand will have to address that problem, if they were educated to understand the system enough. I hope that our education system will work for the best, so that we will feel content that whoever is leading us right now have the qualifications to do so.

How Gochin Came to Be (Part 11)

At one point in my life, I thought about the stories I wrote. Most of them seem like historical accounts from the perspective of the leaders and great people. However, as I became more exposed to stories of ordinary people in WWI, WWII and even every war in the world, I have began to see stories of ordinary people who lived interesting lives. This also clicked when I watched the Lord of the Rings for the first time (yeah, it took me a heck of a long time). I saw the battle at Minas Tirith and the only thing I could think about was what Gondorian soldier #157 was thinking about. At that point, I decided that I wanted to make a story about ordinary soldiers rather than the great people who led them.

The first thing I had to do was to create a setting where I could do it. One of the things I did was set the story during the Custonian effort to recapture Custonia, the capital city that was occupied by Partapin troops during the first great invasion.The story would be based on soldiers from two sides, particularly the conscript Custonian soldier Faras Toifen and the colonial Partapin lieutenant Felian Manras. They will serve as my concept for what the war in Zakonon was all about.

The first thing I had to do was to create a setting for this world. I used to vague map that I had from my personal project as the basis and began writing a history out of it. The history itself isn’t actually that well made, let alone realistic. People went from swords to rifles in the course of less than a century, and by that logic, it was going to be trouble. However, I didn’t notice this at the time. It made a bit of sense to me, so I pushed on. After all, it was the first attempt I ever did on having something resembling a timeline.

Next, I decided to write certain characters who will be in the story. I mostly focused on Faras Toifen as his story is about 2/3 dominant compared to Felian Manras. I didn’t make any idea of military organization at the time, so it was I wasn’t so sure how I was going to do this. I settled with just drawing a number of people and see what I will get. The first thing I did was to draw seven people around a campfire. I wasn’t sure who these people are or how they were going to serve a purpose in the story. All I know was that I had a list of names, most of whom I had no concept for a character. After I completed that picture, I finally had the idea. The picture I had depicted the 7 people as the main character of the Custonian side, Faras Toifen, Galeinin Aratis, Richin Actas, Ariana Karai, Saheroi Chistin, Moiri Paesi and Artus Sifilian. These were the people who were actually supposed to be the main part of the story.

The first thing I did was the sensible thing. I laid out my chapters and started planning mini chapter summaries so that I can start writing. It was working pretty well as I did get a good understanding about how the story was going to progress. I did want it to be longer, but it was supposed to be my first story. I don’t quite remember how it went, but there was a prologue, followed by the story of Faras Toifen. He was apparently from a well-to-do family but the draft was so desperate that few could buy their way out. The Toifen family was not as rich as a family, but Faras decided to go, jealous of his brother’s success. On the way, he joined a battalion that was almost annihilated by a small Partapin army. He was then transferred to a different battalion, where he finally met his future comrades.

This was one of the few things I created for the large project that propelled Gochin: the Personal Project. Granted, my report barely reached a 7, but it was one of the things I actually enjoyed doing. I never found myself putting so much effort into the creation of Gochin, especially when Gochin literally became my assignment. I began to write biographies for several of the major characters in the universe. I began designing my own flags for 70+ different nations. I made my own map and the timeline of the creation process of Gochin. I drew several pictures related to Gochin and got to work on what I saw the overall world as. Even after I finished the report, I kept on doing the project because I really wanted to present my work.

At one point, I passed Mr. Park, whom I told about the world I created. For the first time, I was told about the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien, whose work I had never encountered. What captured me most was the fact that Tolkien made his own language, which I wanted to emulate myself. I went to work to create my own language, finishing a design. Though it had several characters, it did have a problem of not having a style. It was just several blocks of letters that I could randomly think of. Nevertheless, that initial design was the first Vigosian alphabet. Because of its quality, I called it Vigos Impria, or ancient Vigos. I personally knew I had to go further.

At the time of the Personal Project, I remembered my enthusiasm. Whoever came into my booth, I just exploded at them, gave as much as I can and all the information I could gather. I made a poem and a large flag just to prepare for it too. Anyone who approached me was a good enough target and soon I became the most enthusiastic person in the place. Of course, most people are just baffled by someone who tried to make their own world, but nevertheless, I get to do a lot of work. It was one of the most productive projects I have ever worked on.

Around the time of the personal project, I don’t think I was ever finished with the synopsis, though I remembered going considerably long. I even made the title chapters an acronym of a certain message. However, while writing it, things begin to change. One of those things was considering how women could possibly join the army so quickly. It concerned me a bit as legislations do take a long time. Of course, the battle strategy and the realism of the timeline was also put into consideration. This story may be a bit more problematic than I thought it was.

With problems also came new ideas. I thought about the future of these characters if it was to become a series. There, I thought about what motivated Galeinin to join. I decided to give him a daughter named Nalia. However, I realized he may be a bit too young, so I wrote him as a caretaker. I also gave Saheroi Chistin a son named Tisian and a wife named Catiel. The stories of those people slowly became more prominent, and I began writing about those people instead.

Though the story for the Siege of Custonia was never finished (reason will be given later), something new emerged from it, and the future of Gochin continued on.

Being A Role Model

Quite recently I have been approached by some people who either are or know someone related to another person with Asperger’s Syndrome. Now I am quite thankful that I end up meeting people who I can see elements of myself in. The reclusive an quiet tone has been relatable between the two of us and even the dragging annoyances and monotony of the conversations remind me of myself. However, these people told me that they seemingly looked up to me for some how being able to survive in a social crazy world despite what I have. This is my problem.

I’m not sure at the moment that I feel like a role model, that I can be an example of success. Personally, I haven’t really felt this yet. Sure I am able to talk with a number of people in a somewhat normal way, but never find myself making connections that most people do, being able to just strike up a conversation and talk naturally like any person should.

I don’t really find this being a problem for me. I feel like I still have some sort of individualism that I am comfortable with and have no need of sharing that to other people. However, more people who are like me have been telling me about how well I have adapted and asked for advice about what they can do to fit in. It’s not that I don’t want to help them, I really do. I just find myself in a position where I have to teach people some thing I do not really know for sure. I haven’t felt like I have completely integrated myself into the society I live in because I still feel a bit of that distance. I find it hard to connect to people who have very little in common, let alone things like small talk. I like deeper and lengthy conversations that I can indulge into knowing that I might learn something mind blowing from it. I’m not sure how I can tell those people that not everyone wants a conversation like that when I myself still do.

Another issue about this is that I never felt like I had the experience that would be necessary. I’m never sure who my best friend is or who my friends are. I feel like a nomad going from place to place for a home, sometimes feeling I found the place and sometimes wandering off after I couldn’t find what I looked for. This is the kind of experience that a lot of people have gone through and I’m not sure myself what advice I can give. I try to be myself but I am usually comfortable with disconnections, living away from the rest of the world. I don’t feel like this is something I should do all the time, nor think that this is something that I feel comfortable with, but this is how I spend most of my time.

I’m quite nervous about giving advice when I think I don’t know everything. You expect your teacher to be an experienced all knowing person in your field, but I’m afraid I’m giving these people the wrong information and that is usually the worst nightmare for any teacher trying to teach their students. Teaching them wrong. I’m not sure about the method I used to connect with other people, it just sort of appeared. I’m not even sure if its the right way, I haven’t met anyone with Asperger’s who proved themselves to be completely sociable.

I always imagined myself on the stage and talking to people about my experiences, how I got through them, what I am doing now and all that stuff. But I see people who have done that and I realized that these people do know a lot of stuff and I’m not sure I do. I don’t want to just spread information that isn’t helpful to people. Most of the audience probably couldn’t relate to me either because they probably don’t have the problem I do.

I would like to be a role model, I just don’t think I’m ready.