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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Human—Archaedian City-States

Human—Archaedian City-States

History

The Archaedians are an ancient race of humans descended from a group of barbarian tribes that migrated into the Archaedian peninsula thousands of years ago. The early Archaedian tribes came from the lands to the north and north-east. The Archaedians spread throughout the Archaedian peninsula, as well as lands along the shores of the western, central and north-eastern Dragon Sea regions. The Archaedians are loosely organized into independent city-states and colonies, nominally led and sponsored by one of the primary city-states of Epparna, Damara, Marlanthe, Tharallia, Tharbis, Lycaeris, or Arthenia.

Physical Appearance

Archaedians are generally of above-average height and weight, though they are often strong, broad-shouldered, and thick in physique. Archaedians typically have skin tone of brown-olive, tan-olive, or white-olive. Generally, Archaedians have hair color of ebony-black, black-brown, or occasionally some kind of blonde. In eye color, Archaedians usually have eyes of dark-brown or hazel-brown, though a few other colors are occasionally found. Archaedian men typically wear short, neatly-trimmed full beards, and wear their hair reasonably short—typically no longer than to the neck or shoulders. Archaedian women typically wear their hair piled up, or long and curled, usually rubbed with finely-scented oils, and adorned with a hair comb, jeweled hair-pins, or ribbons. Archaedian men and women alike are fond of all kinds of fine jewelry and rich clothing. Most Archaedian women are highly-devoted to using fine perfumes, scented oils and exotic cosmetics.

In typical appearance, the Archaedian man is nearly six feet in height, weighing a solid 200 pounds. The Archaedian man has curly or wavy black hair reaching to his neck or shoulders, and has a well-groomed, full beard. The Archaedian man is broad-shouldered, with a deep chest, and a strong, muscular physique. The Archaedian man has large eyes, a prominent nose, and is generally rugged, masculine, and attractive. In typical appearance, the Archaedian woman is well over five feet in height, and weighs close to 150 pounds. The Archaedian woman has large, dark eyes, and long, black hair that is curly or wavy, and reaches to the middle of her back or her waist in length. The Archaedian woman has fine skin, and a thick, voluptuous physique, with curvaceous hips, thick legs, and attractive, sensual features.

All Archaedians speak the native language of Archaedian, as well as a home-dialect language particular to the primary city-state of their birth.


N.B Player Characters are encouraged to review the Archaedian Character Tables, presented below.

Archaedian Character Tables

Archaedian Character Table: Skin Tone
Dice Roll/Skin Tone
01-50%: Brown-Olive
51-80%: Tan-Olive
81-00%: White-Olive

Archaedian Character Table: Hair Color
Dice Roll/Hair Color
01-55%: Ebony-Black
56-80%: Black-Brown
81-90%: Ash-Blonde
91-95%: Honey-Blonde
96-00%: Golden-Blonde

Archaedian Character Table: Eye Color
Dice Roll/Eye Color
01-60%: Dark Brown
61-85%: Brown-Hazel
86-90%: Golden-Brown
91-95%: Pale-Brown
96-00%: Blue-Grey

Archaedian Height and Weight Tables
Male Archaedian Base Height: 5’6”-6’4”; (5’4”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’10”
Male Archaedian Base Weight: 152-260-lbs; (140+12d10);
Average Weight: 200-lbs.

Female Archaedian Base Height: 5’2”-6’0”; (5’0”+2d6”);
Average Height: 5’6”
Female Archaedian Base Weight: 110-200-lbs; (100+10d10);
Average Weight: 150-lbs.

Politics

Archaedian city-states are ruled by public assemblies—every male citizen over the age of 20. The public assemblies gather at specified times of the year, as well as at other occasions, to appoint committees, appoint various nobles as Archons, and a single nobleman is voted as High Archon. The High Archon rules for a lifetime term, unless he has lost the confidence and support of the people, in which he is voted out of office by the public assembly. The public assemblies, and the various committees led by selected nobles, variously vote and control financial policy and legislative authority, while the High Archon has more power in foreign policy decisions, as well as authority over the military forces in wartime.

Some Archaedian city-states are periodically ruled by Tyrants—special dictators that have sweeping power and authority. However, while all Archaedian city-states are either ruled by the public assembly and the High Archon, or a Tyrant, there is one exception—the city-state of Lycaeris is ruled by two appointed kings, and governed by a supreme council of 5 noblemen called the Drythor, who also lead the High Council. The High Council is composed of 500 members, all whom are Lycaeden citizens whom have been elected to their positions by the citizens of Lycaeris. The High Council and the Drythor hold most of the financial and legislative power, while the two Lycaeden kings hold authority over the military and foreign policy.

Culture

The Archaedians are united by a common culture, language and religion. However, each of the primary city-states maintains a particular native dialect, as well as nuances and distinctions concerning politics, philosophy, economics, as well as social customs.

All Archaedians speak Archaedian, though each is also fluent in a primary city-state dialect, corresponding to where they are originally from, as follows:

City-State/Native Dialect
Epparna—Eppari
Damara—Damari
Marlanthe—Marlanthi
Tharallia—Tharallian
Tharbis—Tharben
Lycaeris—Lycaeden
Arthenia--Arthenian

The traditional Archaedian culture is highly patriarchal, and holds to particular customs and gender roles for society. In contrast to male citizens, who enjoy great freedoms of all kinds, whether they are noblemen or not—women have very different strictures and customs and expectations they must contend with, and abide by. Noble, upper and middle-class women are barred from entering many public areas, especially such areas and buildings devoted to politics and government. Good Archaedian women—those women from noble, upper and middle-class families--are expected to remain cloistered within the home and around their estate if they have one, and are generally allowed to go to the market-square, and the temples. Archaedian women are restricted against any political involvement whatsoever. Archaedian women cannot own their own property, or petition a court. Any land must be owned by a male, and any court petition must be initiated by a male. Women must always show deference and respect towards men. Furthermore, women receive a very narrow education, if at all—and are seldom literate. The vast majorities of noblewomen, as well as women from upper and middle-class families, are relatively uneducated, and expected to devote themselves entirely to the domestic realm. Such Archaedian women are expected to be devoted to pleasing their husbands in every way; supervising the home and supervising or performing all of the domestic chores and duties; supervising the children and slaves; and attending to the household shopping needs.

Lower-class Archaedian women, of course, may travel about as they desire, and may pursue various professions—typically those professions that are suitable to the lower-classes, and of simple and humble origin. Lower-class Archaedian women are also entirely barred from politics, and also hold few legal or property rights. Having said this, however, Archaedian women from the lower-classes do enjoy a somewhat greater degree of social, financial and personal freedoms—not nearly as equal to the Halloi women, but typically more so than women of the nobility, and upper and middle-classes.

However, women that are Halloi—essentially prostitutes—are permitted great freedoms, beyond what is expected or allowed for other Archaedian women, especially from noble, upper and middle-class families. The Halloi women typically come from the lower classes—though some are upper or middle-class or noble women that have been somehow shamed and disowned, or are otherwise estranged from their families—some of these women join the profession of the Halloi. The Halloi are all members of a special Halloi guild. It is at the Halloi guildhouse in whatever town or city-state they are in, that provides housing, education, and training for the women of the Halloi. Joining the Halloi guild is one particular method—and the only salient method—for Archaedian women to not only achieve personal, private wealth, but also to cultivate their own personal independence and social freedom. Most Halloi women are sophisticated, articulate, highly educated, as well as graceful, charming, and highly-skilled in erotic arts. In addition, Halloi women are highly trained in singing, dancing, music, writing, poetry, cosmetics, and various performing arts.

Traditional Archaedian society also allows an additional exception—women from whatever background, if they seem to have the particular talents and favourable signs from the gods, may also become priestesses, witches, enchantresses or oracles. Such women, when they are discovered or otherwise make themselves known, are typically gathered up by various societies and professional circles of such women within Archaedian society, so as to further teach them and provide training and instruction in their new life. Thus, there are various temples that train priestesses and oracles, and special guilds of enchantresses and circles of witches. As Archaedian society views women as being symbolic of passion and chaos, such women are allowed to engage in such professions—as is the divine purpose for them, and are accorded varying degrees of reverence, awe, respect, or fear. In all such cases, however, Archaedian men view these types of women as not only exceptional, but also strange, wondrous, and mystical.

Historically, all traditional Archaedian city-states embrace such customs for women, as described, except for the city-states of Tharallia and Lycaeris. The city-state of Tharallia remains closer to the wild frontiers of northern Archaedia, as well as rough, barbarian customs, and allows women broad freedoms, nearly equal to men. Tharallian women are allowed to pursue most professions, and they enjoy near-equal legal rights as Tharallian men, though they are not allowed to participate politically, and they are generally not permitted to serve in the military, though outlying rural Tharallian communities do allow women to become warriors, if they are skilled and tough enough. In the city-state of Lycaeris, Lycaeden women enjoy a sweeping range of freedoms absolutely unthinkable in the rest of Archaedia.

Archaedian marriage ceremonies are public, formal affairs, with a particular priest or priestess officiating, and both families and many friends invited as guests in attendance. Great gifts are exchanged between the couple, and the friends also present gifts to the couple, and afterwards, a great feast and celebration is held. Archaedian marriage customs are generally Monogamous, strict, and formal, as detailed below:

Monogamous, Strict, Formal, Concubinage

Strict: A strict adherence to fidelity and exclusive sexual relations is expected. Violation of these expectations and customs may provoke serious social and or legal consequences. Adultery is often punished with savage torture, and often death sentences are the standard. These requirements are almost exclusively expected of Archaedian women.

Formal: The society has very high standards and strict rules and expectations for any kind of divorce. There may be specific requirements that the couple or people involved must exhibit in order to be allowed to divorce. There may be various significant social and religious stigmas attached to anyone that has been divorced. Children born out of wedlock are likewise social outcasts if such is becomes known. Archaedian men may initiate divorce for virtually any reason—while Archaedian women are heavily restricted to petitioning for divorce; Archaedian women may petition for divorce only under the provision for very serious, egregious reasons, and a Archaedian magistrate has full power to review and judge on allowing the woman to gain such a divorce.

Concubinage: In Archaedia, male Archaedians may retain concubines, lovers and slaves as they desire. Concubines, much like Halloi women, enjoy a particular set of legal and social rights, as well as various rights of inheritance. In addition, children from concubines have some legal and inheritance rights.

The Archaedians are very sophisticated and articulate, being literate and highly-educated. The Archaedians provide all male citizens with formal educations, and encourage increased and ongoing education in all fields, as well as philosophy, politics, and civic involvement. The Archaedians have a sophisticated, coin-based economy, and are very mercantilist, with great merchant houses and fleets of merchant ships exploiting domestic and foreign trade throughout the Dragon Sea region.

Archaedian men typically gather together often at midday to enjoy lunch together, and discuss various political issues, news, gossip, and philosophy. Evening dinners at the end of the day are also popular times for Archaedian men to gather for such discussions and fellowship. Archaedian scholars and philosophers are often members of particular clubs or philosophical societies, and often hold special gatherings and dinners at some selected nobleman’s estate, or perhaps a wealthy house somewhere in the city to enjoy a great dinner, and to engage in debates and discussions. These gatherings are also often shared with groups of Halloi women that are invited to the meeting to provide all the men gathered with entertainment and companionship.

The Archaedians are highly skilled in all aspects of warfare, both land and sea. Archaedian politicians and leaders, if not brilliant and accomplished philosophers and scholars, are expected to be glorious military heroes, and to have gained great reputation in war for the glory of their city-state.

It should be noted, however, that the Archaedian culture is generally quite open-minded and liberal, and there are always some individual philosophers agitating for various social changes, as well as various smaller communities and factions that hold to radically divergent beliefs from the traditional Archaedian culture. Throughout the regions where Archaedian city-states are located, there are always some few city-states that have embraced some sweeping philosophy and change in cultural customs, where all manner of unusual policies and highly-liberal customs have been embraced.

Throughout the north-eastern region of the Dragon Sea, for example, are many city-states that have embraced a much broader attitude towards women participating in the daily social circles, as well as much more liberal professional and economic freedoms. As a result, there are more than a few regions dominated by the Archaedian culture where women have broad professional and economic freedoms, as well as sweeping social and political freedoms. In such regions, women may own their own property, gain educations, control their own finances, and pursue whatever kind of work or professional ambition they desire. Furthermore, in such regions, women socialize with the men in every social circle, and the society is thoroughly integrated, with perhaps only the highest positions of political power being restricted from women. Many sages believe that these powerful social changes have grown from two major influences—the frequent agitation by philosophers from Lycaeris, often joined by activists and philosophers from Tharallia, have worked long and diligently to spread their beliefs and customs embracing freedom and empowerment for women; secondly, the influence spread through trade, as well as immigration, interbreeding and marriage with peoples from the city-states and kingdoms of Tarjan, Oggerri, and Zhunaya.

The Tarjans, Ogerrians and Zhunayans are all part of an ancient, interconnected culture along the south-eastern shores of the Dragon Sea that has flourished for several thousand years. The region has many ancient and powerful kingdoms and city-states, with huge fortress-cities of fantastic and opulent wealth. The cultures of the south-east Dragon Sea region are typically sophisticated and decadent, with exotic customs and ancient, mystical religions. Throughout much of the south-eastern Dragon Sea region, the dominant cultures embrace a distinct reverence for the philosophy of the “Divine Feminine” and allow women to have broad social, sexual, political, and economic freedoms, with much of the religious life and temples being organized, controlled and dominated by women. Thus, the contact that many Archaedians have with cultures of these regions has been steadily influencing customs and practices within Archaedian city-states of the north-eastern Dragon Sea region for many centuries. These enduring cultural influences, as well as the philosophical activism of Lycaeris and Tharallia, have provoked and fueled various cultural and political factions within the Archaedian culture as a whole.

While the Archaedian culture holds many city-states that generally conform to a traditional, orthodox Archaedian culture, there are substantial factions that often disagree on many cultural and political issues, and have embraced many new ideas. In virtually all Archaedian city-states, there are two primary factions—conservatives, and liberals. These factions may have different names, depending on the particular city-state—but they are always squabbling and endlessly debating cultural changes, laws, customs, philosophy, and political policy.

The conservatives generally seek to maintain the traditional Archaedian cultural customs—only seeking to alter or change them slowly, and in modest degrees. Conservatives are not entirely opposed to change, or new ideas or ways of doing things—though they often proceed to embrace any proposed changes slowly, and cautiously, anxious to avoid unleashing chaos and anarchy, and ever-mindful of the ancient wisdom and merits of the customs and policies instituted by their predecessors. Conservatives often presume the old ways are just fine the way they are—and proposed changes must prove to be superior or more advantageous to truly gain their support, as they assume that most proposed changes are ultimately inferior, dangerous, or at the very least, flawed and ineffective, with such being typically more idealistic and high-minded rather than pragmatic. Conservatives typically believe that the wise ancestors of past generations have formed the best and most advantageous customs and policies—and there are few, if any, new ideas or policies that can substantially improve on them in meaningful ways, without also unleashing unacceptable consequences.

The liberals generally embrace much of the same traditional customs as conservatives—though they are typically much more comfortable with embracing new ideas, different approaches to problems, and entertaining unique, unorthodox philosophies than the typical conservative, but furthermore—are willing to support changes in customs and policies that may radically change the society and culture. Liberals often presume that the older customs are essentially flawed and outdated, and can typically be improved on or changed in good, progressive ways that are more effective and advantageous. Liberals typically believe that there are always better ways of doing things—there must be better ways of doing things than they have been done in the past.

Religion

The Archaedian religion is a comprehensive pantheon of complex, sophisticated deities. The Archaedians worship a large pantheon of gods, holding areas of authority and dominion over such areas as war, storms and seas, forests, beasts, love and fertility, hunting, crafting, wisdom, music, the sun, and more.

Archaedians build and support huge, wondrous temples devoted to their gods, as well as shrines in all of the city-states. The Archaedians also revere various holy lakes, springs, or glades throughout Archaedia. Archaedians have developed revolutionary new building techniques, as well as pioneered beautiful artistic styles and forms of stonework and decoration, in the process of building many great temples throughout Archaedia. The Archaedians have, as a by-product of these efforts, created entirely new architecture and engineering principles, as well as a range of specialized tools and training methods that allow such efforts and professions to grow and be pursued.

Archaedian priests and priestesses are very important in Archaedian society, and are highly-respected. Archaedian priests and priestesses supervise all the regular sacrifices by the people; provide counsel, as well as conducting all the public rituals and ceremonies, and performing the various seasonal festivals and celebrations particular to each temple.

The Archaedian gods are noted as follows:

Zhargos—Supreme god of the Archaedian pantheon; god of the air, storms, knowledge and prophecy

Theron—God of the underworld, the earth, death, darkness, wealth, and fire

Pelagon—God of the sun, fire, nobility, war, and strength

Nikandros—God of Healing, Compassion, Knowledge, and Law

Parsidon—God of the seas, storms, destruction, and nature

Diokles—God of murder, darkness, trickery, greed, and fortune

Arrion—God of War, chaos, destruction, and conquest

Dyrranos—God of wine, chaos, music, trickery, forests, savagery and wild beasts

Darmathon—God of strength, adventure, courage, and fortune

Ikarios—God of the sun, fire, chaos, destruction

Appellios—God of the sun, music, prophecy and archery

Hyllos—God of crafts, smithing, fire and knowledge

Appollonia—Goddess of love, fertility, beauty, sexuality and passion

Amanthe—Goddess of war, wisdom, crafts, art and knowledge

Deianneira—Goddess of agriculture, harvests, animals and nature

Xanthippe—Goddess of law, trade, travel and crafts

Salomede—Goddess of joy, wine, fortune, music and gambling

Theiranda—Goddess of chaos, darkness, disease and pestilence

Paramona—Goddess of hunting, forests, rivers, nature and animals

Nikeira—Goddess of Victory, nobility, valor and war

Kyrene—Goddess of magic, knowledge, the moon, and chaos

Hedeia—Goddess of Marriage, intrigue, knowledge, and prophecy

Warfare

The Archaedian city-states each recruit their military forces from the city itself, as well as tributary cities, towns and villages, as well as the surrounding countryside. In addition, Archaedian city-states often hire various kinds of mercenaries, as well as relying on contingents from allied city-states to provide help and support in times of war. Each city-state recruits and supports an army composed of Hoplites, which are heavily-armoured and armed heavy infantry. The Archaedian armies also have foot-archers, skirmishers, and cavalry—typically fast-moving light cavalry lancers. Also joining any military expedition are units of highly-trained siege-engineers, and men trained with building and operating a wide range of artillery and war machines.

Archaedian naval forces enjoy strong, sophisticated warships, and are crewed by highly-paid, highly-motivated professional rowers, sailors and marines. Such men also come from a broad range of backgrounds—though the lower-and middle-classes provide most of the recruits for the navies of the city-states. The men of the navy also form a sub-culture that is somewhat apart from larger Archaedian society, with their own customs, and zealously democratic principles and ideas. The Archaedian sailors, rowers and marines are typically daring, adventurous, and rough—though they are also united by their dangerous fraternity of making their lives and fortunes aboard ships that can, at a moment, make them all equal in death before the fires of war, or the rushing, cold waters of the sea.

Cultural Weapons and Armour

Archaedian Cultural Armour
Leather Armor (AC 8)
Hide Armor (AC 8)
Studded Leather (AC 7)
Scale Mail (AC 6)
Breastplate (AC 5)

Archaedian Cultural Weapons
Dagger, Dart, Club, Whip, Trident, Shortsword, Sickle, Shortbow, Javelin, Spear, Lance, Sarissa (Pike), Cestus, Quarterstaff

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