Stigy Driver

A stigy driver is the person who drives a Stigy drawn vehicle like a Stigy Bus or Stigy Sleigh. To become a licensed stigy driver, one must first follow an official training, and prove they are capable of taking care of a stigy, vehicle, and passengers.

Stigy Academy

There is only one school in all of Ghynzua that specializes in training stigy drivers. The school is situated just outside Miraiy next to the training grounds for stigy's. Admission tests are held yearly all throughout the Empire. It is difficult to get accepted into the program though. Only twenty people are picked out of the thousands who take the test. After being selected the actual work begins.

The best day of my life was the day I got accepted into the Stigy Academy.
— Hirobi Akiwa, first-year student

Students are required to take up residence in the school. But most are a long way from home anyway. Their training takes three years in which they not only learn everything there is to learn about becoming a stigy driver. Third-year students will also train their own stigy. Which is no small feat.

First year of training

In the first year education focuses mostly on theory. Students learn the anatomy and behavior of stigy's. How to keep a stigy healthy and happy. Which safety measures must be taken when working with stigy's. They also learn about the vehicles stigy's can pull. And will travel with their class to the workplaces where these vehicles are made. To pay for their lodging and education, students also work in the stables. At the start of the school year they learn how to clean the stables. As the year progresses they will also become involved in feeding, bathing, and entertaining toddler stigy's.

Keep in mind that these animals can easily crush an adult human. They are not only huge and incredibly strong. They are also extremely intelligent and have a memory far superior to ours. You do not want to mistreat a stigy.
— Instructor

Second year of training

Although the second year brings more theory for the students the emphasis shifts to working more with the stigy's themselves. Under guidance of stigy trainers the students become involved in training adolescent stigy's. This allows them to bond with the stigy that will become their partner animal. And they learn how to train their own stigy.

Stigy's receive what we call toddler training from the moment they have been weaned. They are between 4 to 6 years old then. Toddler training involves things like learning simple instructions and playful exercises with toys to learn them basic tasks. Toddler training lasts about five years. After that the stigy starts a more serious training and we as trainers learn what each individual stigy enjoys the most. Some love pulling a stigy bus while others show great interest in assisting with building infrastructure.
— Stigy Trainer

Third year of training

This year focus lies on finalizing the training of the stigy, which students will partner up with after they graduate. At this point one has to be able to take care of their stigy without help. Most duo's will end up in transportation after they graduate. Others go into construction. In this final year theory focuses for a big part on the field they will work in. Those who will transport people will learn how to behave towards clients, how to deal with difficult passengers, what to do in case of emergency, etc. Those who go into construction will learn extra safety matters for themselves and their stigy. But also how a stigy can be used in construction.

The past two years you all have worked hard to get where you are now. You did so as an individual. This year that changes. From now on you have a partner. Your own stigy. You complete your education together. You graduate together. The only way to succeed is if you both help each other to finish your training. You don't graduate unless your stigy graduates with you.
— Instructor

Career

Apprentice

Once graduated from the Stigy Academy the new driver and their stigy start one year of apprenticeship with a master stigy driver. This means that they are never alone on the road and always have someone to fall back on in case of trouble. In the beginning of the year the apprentices drive behind the master, but as the year progresses they will be expected to take the lead from time to time. The new driver receives an apprentice license when they graduate, and a full license when they successfully finish their apprenticeship.

Licensed

With a full license in their pocket driver and stigy can finally work for their own. Stigy drivers are self employed although they receive their own stigy as part of their training. The vehicle they drive - whether it is a bus, sleigh, or cargo cart - is funded by the driver and stigy during their apprenticeship and stays with them after they become licensed. The full license must be renewed every year. If a driver and/or stigy misbehave, they can lose their license. Which means they can no longer perform their job.

Master

After ten years of working as a stigy driver it is possible to receive the Master Stigy Driver title. Both driver and stigy need an impeccable reputation however. Not all stigy drivers apply for the title since it means that you must take on apprentices. There are benefits to this though. Having an apprentice doubles what you can transport and therefore doubles your income. Sure, you need to get your apprentice a vehicle, but you buy it with partial funding from the government. And much of the profit you and your apprentice make ends up in your pocket. You only pay them a minimum wage since they need to repay the vehicle they received. By the end of the year most masters will have made a bigger profit than what they would have earned on their own.

Grandmaster

Grandmaster is a rare title, only granted to those who have done extraordinary deeds. It is given by the Empress herself and involves a grand ceremony at the The Imperial Palace. Grandmasters receive extra benefits like funding at the discretion of the Empress. Sometimes they are offered a position as Imperial Driver. This can be anything from driving around diplomats or Council members to driving around the Empress herself. The title of Grandmaster is only given to humans. But after an act of extreme bravery, and the rescue of a delegation of Grand Council members, Bumble went into history as the first stigy to receive this title.
Type
Transportation
Demand
Staple
Related Locations
Used By
Related Tradition
Stigy Festival
Stigyrompus
Species | Jun 29, 2021

Stigy's are massive mammals covered in a long white fur. They are native to East Eghea, and are often used as a beast of burden.

Bonding

The bond between driver and stigy is something very special. It is understandable that a driver cares deeply for their stigy. After all, they spend most of their lives together. Taking care of and working together with an animal simply creates a bond that can leave one heart broken when they loose that animal. The same goes for the stigy however. When they lose their human partner, they mourn their loss in a way no other animals do. There have been cases where stigys died from grief after their driver passed away.

That is as impossible as separating a stigy from its driver.
— Common ghynzuan saying

Social Status

Stigy drivers are very important in Ghynzua. They are generally well respected by everyone and treated accordingly. This is the reason many stigy drivers are male. It is a way for them to climb in social status in the matriarchal Empire. Although times are changing, and men can be found in higher positions these days, a career as stigy driver is still something many boys dream about.

Stigy Bus
Vehicle | Jun 29, 2021

A large, enclosed, and sprung stigy drawn vehicle used for passenger transport in Ghynzua.

On the Road

Working as a stigy driver means you spend a lot of time on the road and away from home. This also means few women choose to become a stigy driver. In ghynzuan society, daughters live with their mother-family their entire life, and possibly will be the head of their extended family at some point in their life. Therefor girls are discouraged to pursue this career, as it takes them away from their family for short or long periods of time. For boys however it is a well-respected job.

Bumble and I spend a lot of our time away from home. We do long distance travel so we are often away for over a month. But we both love it and would not wish for any other job.
— Bumble's owner, stigy driver


Comments

Author's Notes

Do you have more questions after reading this article? Feel free to ask them in the comments. Feedback is always welcome as well.


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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
31 Dec, 2019 18:13

Love it! Sorry its taken so long. Busy busy, but worth the wait! I love how you went into the education. The details are so realistic and I could easily see this being a real school of sorts. It makes sense to learn how to keep the stigy healthy before anything else as well, and Ooof the stigys are amazing. Will be reading humble soooon. I also love the social status it gives. Its a nice touch that in a matriarchal society, the males use this to rise up. So coool

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
1 Jan, 2020 08:06

Thank you so much Dylon!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
1 Jul, 2021 08:11

I love how much thought you put into the details here! The education and career progression sound very reasonable, and you did a great job connecting it to the Ghynzuan culture.

creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source   SummerCamp 2021 Pledge Document
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
1 Jul, 2021 09:47

Thank you. :)

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.