Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

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Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Wed 05 Apr 2017, 00:13

Spoiler:
Hyia folks. This thread will be a narrative development of my conworld, Rajnlokem. For clarity's sake, I figured I'd prefer having a single thread for all of the cultures that I am yet to develop here, instead of creating multiple ones. It'll also make it easier for me to make the links between them clearer if everything is in one place. And (hopefully), this will be more entertaining to read as a story, as opposed to the very bad & boring encyclopedia-like thingy I tried to go with in the other thread.

At the beginning of every post, I will make a little spoiler box like this to develop the previous post. I may explain things that might be unclear, add extra information, or develop concepts, ideas or events that I didn't develop in the post for the sake of the flow or realism (people don't lecture one another about things that are obvious to them in their reality).

I hope you like it, and I hope I don't suck too bad because as much as I love linguistics and reading, I'm pretty much a noob at both writing and conlanging. Constructive criticism is obviously more than welcome :)
Year 301, eleventh moon, third day of the second decade: Fárpehka

Rill
I hope this letter gets to you in Hafnja. I know it has been countless moons since we have parted ways on bad terms, and I will -regretfully- acknowledge that I am partly to blame for it. Though, I will never forgive your treason. What you have done to me is simply unforgivable. You were eager to see Wynn again, that is understandable, but turning your back on me after all that I had done for you is something I will never forget. You cannot imagine the pain I felt when the only friend I had in the world abandoned me during the night without a mere goodbye.

That said, I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know that I deeply regret the argument that we had prior to our separation. I should have better controlled my emotions; instead, I let my anger take over my reason. I often forget that unlike my people, the Hafnjans are never taught to keep a cool head. You "listened to your heart", as your kind say. But when I realised how foolish of me it was to spark off as I did, it was too late. You see, the disadvantage of being taught to suppress your emotions, is you end up forgetting how they work. I am sorry that I was not understanding; my emotions clouded my judgement and overwhelmed me. It took me days to calm down and realise my mistake, and many moons to gather up the strength to address you. I do not wish for you to pity me, nor do I expect you to welcome me with open arms. I just wanted to let you know that I am sorry for making our separation more dolorous than it needed to be. It is ridiculously late to be sorry, I know, but I could not bear to die with that burden on my shoulders. Whether you accept my apology or not, I will at least leave this world knowing you were not oblivious to my remorse.

I miss you, Rill. Had you not come along, I would be feeding worms right now. Had you not come along, there are so many things I would never have felt. I was alone, Rîll. I too had lost everything: my home, my friends, my family. I had been completely alone, roaming this country in search of a new place to call home for years, rejected by both your people in Hafnja and the once peaceful forest dwellers, and the impossibility to even go back to my homeland. And as I am getting robbed by a group of amoral thugs in the middle of nowhere, wounded and too weak to defend myself, there you come, saving the life of a total stranger, not even interested in any sort of compensation. I will forever be grateful for that day. I have never told you how thankful I was that you allowed me to accompany you. Where I come from, actions speak louder than words and you do not state the obvious; I thought that it was clear enough from what I did: the risks I took, the limits I pushed, the sacrifices I made. I suppose your people does not function like mine in this regard. Or maybe you were blinded by your eagerness to reunite with Wynn. Anyway, I reckoned I also owed you a thank you, besides an apology.

Rill, you do not know how much I wish I could turn back time and live again the many moons we spent together. Being by your side instead of crumbling under the crushing weight of utter solitude was... nice. So was knowing you cared. I miss that feeling.
I hope you and Wynn are doing well.

Náiri.

P.S. I have found a hamlet in which I have been accepted, around ten leagues west of the citadel, near the coast; I work with the fishermen. If you ever decide to come visit me, just ask for me at the cabin.


Standing in the porch of her small wooden cabin, Náiri's eyes opened wide upon seeing the letter. She stared at me, mouth open, with the most shocked look I had ever seen on a human face. "Who are you? Where'd you find this?" she asked, in a slightly shaky voice, from anger, excitement or embarassment, I could not tell. "Wynn", I replied. "I am Rill's sister. If you don't mind, can I ask you some questions?" After a long minute of silent reflection and an equally long sigh, she nodded. "Please come in" she said in a soft but firmer voice. "This might take a while."

And so I did, my head filled with question marks.
Last edited by Evynova on Fri 02 Jun 2017, 13:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tales from Rajnlokem

Post by elemtilas » Wed 05 Apr 2017, 00:42

Evynova wrote:Hyia folks. This thread will be a narrative development of my conworld, Rajnlokem. For clarity's sake, I figured I'd prefer having a single thread for all of the cultures that I am yet to develop here, instead of creating multiple ones. It'll also make it easier for me to make the links between them clearer if everything is in one place. And (hopefully), this will be more entertaining to read as a story, as opposed to the very bad & boring encyclopedia-like thingy I tried to go with in the other thread.

At the beginning of every post, I will make a little spoiler box like this to develop the previous post. I may explain things that might be unclear, add extra information, or develop concepts, ideas or events that I didn't develop in the post for the sake of the flow or realism (people don't lecture one another about things that are obvious to them in their reality).

I hope you like it, and I hope I don't suck too bad because as much as I love linguistics and reading, I'm pretty much a noob at both writing and conlanging. Constructive criticism is obviously more than welcome :)
Yay! This subforum has suddenly awoken to roaring life!

I enjoyed reading the letter much, and look forward to reading more stories from Rajnlokem! But don't dismiss the encyclopedia type articles either. Those are great for exposition and explanation!
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Fri 02 Jun 2017, 14:25

I've been trying to continue the way I started but I really suck at writing narrativised stuff. Because of that, I'll post info the old boring way; I changed the name of the thread for this reason, and also because I realised I had accidentally copied the name of another thread and I didn't want people to think I was uninspired lol. Sorry if I brought some hopes up, but I'm really dissatisfied with everything that I have tried writing and I don't want to post things I don't like. So there we go.

I'll talk about the 3 races of Rajnlokem in this one thread for the sake of simplicity (and not flooding the forum with a bajillion threads); the one I posted about the K'anerhtóh is outdated. I've changed some things and after re-reading what I had done, I realised I also made some mistakes. I will probably ask a mod to delete it.

Hope you enjoy nevertheless, and hope I receive some constructive criticism. I really want to improve; as a noob, I don't know whether I'm doing fine or if I suck real good.

Condensed history of the people of Rajnlokem: in a nutshell
Rajnlokem is located in Ghen Ta sea, between the Ket'ets archipelago and Gebrč tUrkhaa. It has the peculiarity of being the most diverse place in the world, compared to the other ethno-nationalist countries (the two biggest being Rodera and Gebrč tUrkhaa). Three different cultures coexist on this small island the size of Iceland, and while it is true that the relations between them have been everything but peaceful, it is still an impressive feat that none of them has been eradicated or expelled for such a long time, a couple of centuries.

Rajnlokem actually has 3 names:

> Rajnlokem, short for Sár Rajnlokem (lit. "Rajnlok's gift"), is the name given by the colons who sailed all the way from Rodera. Rajnlok is their god of war, change, destruction; he is said to have helped them find the island by guiding them via the stars.
> Olita Ekema, shortened to O´Ekema is the name given by the Soo ta Aangii. It means "the green island" and refers to the forests and plains that cover its surface.
> Sirhta, given by the K'anerhóh. Its meaning is unknown.

To make it less confusing & easier I will exclusively use the name Rajnlokem.

The first people who have colonised the island are the ancestors of the K'anerhtóh, who are native to the Ket'ets archipelago. It is not known when they first arrived. After a several generations of farming, they migrated up north in the Ces'em moutains. Why they decided to leave their meadows and the fertile soil of the West of the island, and settle in the harsh, freezing cold of the North is a mystery. Even more surprising is the speed at which they adapted to this new, unforgiving environment, but they and their ancestors have the reputation of adapting very quickly to any place which they travel to. Up North, they developed a unique culture and built several cities. The biggest of them is Ómhersán, in which they carved a colossal cathedral-like citadel in a cliff: the home of their rulers and their military headquarters.

After centuries, the second people to have arrived on Rajnlokem is the Soo ta Aangii. They branched off the Urkhaa people after big cultural and societal changes. Because they had a different interpretation of their religion, the ancestors of the Soo ta Aangii were rejected: this different interpretation resulted in different political stances and cultural norms. Then known as Süü Ghegaa, the pariah people, they were given a choice: either they conformed, or they had to leave. They chose the latter and were deported to the nearest island, Olita Ekema, unaware that there were already people living there. The Süü Ghegaa became the Süü tAghi, Soo ta Aangii.

The last people to have arrived are the colons of Rodera. Upon arriving, they started building Hafnja, a massive fortified city, and displayed an extreme violence towards the Soo ta Aangii. They enslaved them, raped them and even killed them on sight. This had dire consequences on the whole organisation of the island and even had repercussions overseas.
Spoiler:
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Last edited by Evynova on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 16:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 16:28

Spoiler:
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Administrative divisions of Rajnlokem
Hafnja
Hafnja is located to the West. Though they originate from Rodera, they are independent; Hafnja is a kingdom. The first king was the second son of the Roderan emperor of the time, who was given a fleet as compensation for not having access to the throne. Kyrron en Dwegre, "Kyrron the Warrior" sailed with his fleet to Rajnlokem and established his kingdom there.

The title of king is transmitted hereditarily. The current Hafnjan king is Kjártaþ en Gerptes, "Kjártaþ the Fearsome".

Their society is greatly influenced by their religion. People are divided among clades, that roughly correspond to religious movements. They have a rich pantheon, and depending on birthplace, job, wealth and social status, one could had access to different clades. The rules are complex, and I will detail them in another post, but farmers e.g. worship Farkjá, god of rain and Hjera, goddess of fertility, love and forgiveness. Soldiers on the other hand won't need the blessings of those gods in their career/lives, and will instead regard gods such as Rajnlok, god of war and destruction, or Wýrkeþ, god of conquest, pride and domination. The Roderan religion is complex and I will of course explicit it in as much detail as I can later.

Fján
Fján used to be part of Hafnja, but became independent after a civil war. After generations of mistreating the Soo ta Aangii populations, Hafnja slowly started getting frowned upon by its easternmost cities, which were in contact with the natives. At first, they tried to end the brutality diplomatically, but the king of the time refused to stop enslaving the "savages", claiming they were needed in the farms and mines of the country, and to free them would have negative consequences on the economy. Seeing as it wouldn't work, the Fjánians made a call to arms: they trained, with the help of the local division of the Cavalry (the army of the king on Rajnlokem) and prepared for a revolution. Many peace-loving Soo ta Aangii even agreed to take part in the revolution, granted they would not have to kill. The many raids on mines and farms to free the slaves, as well as the property damage caused by the Soo ta Aangii who agreed to help considerably weakened Hafnja and allowed Fján to gain its independence.

The independence of Fján was followed by societal changes in its cities, but also among the Soo ta Aangii who accepted their help. Some tribes slowly abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and, with the help of their new ally, built cities (see next map). In Fján, the caste system that Hafnja still uses, and was imported from Rodera, was considerably simplified. The leader is elected, chosen from a small group of intellectuals, by the most competent castes (agriculturers, miners and other members of the "populace" cannot vote). Not a democracy per se, but much better and less oppressive than the ruthless Hafnjan regime.

Soo ta Aangii territory
It originally covered all of the island save for the Ces'em mountains, home of the K'anerhtóh. They were pushed off East after the invasion. The South of the island is largely uninhabited because of the lack of forests. While the South would be great for fishermen, the Soo ta Aangii are vegetarians and do not hunt nor fish, thus could not survive there.

With the help of Fján, they built several cities and villages. Fján was also their source of inspiration for their political organisation; they had lived as independent, nomadic tribes for centuries, and, because of their religious beliefs, had no concept of hierarchy. Their newly founded government is also tightly connected to that of their neighbour.
Spoiler:
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Major cities and places of Rajnlokem
Hafnja
Hafnja is the capital city of the Kingdom of Hafnja. It is a massive fortified city, in which the king and his family reside. A huge avenue that leads to the royal castle was built, and hosts a military parade each year. The city is enclosed within tall, stone fortifications that prevent intruders from walking in. Fields are located outside the walls and surround the fort. Westwards, a stone road leads to the port that welcomes travellers. Hafnja has the biggest university of the country and the most prominent intellectuals have studied there; some of them serve as advisers to the king.

Dúnkar and Leþeð are two commercial centres. Merchants from the villages surrounding them often travel there to purchase and sell goods. They aren't fortified but they are properly guarded by the Cavalry; the present day king, Kjártaþ, has sent two of his sons to rule over them, to ensure they remain loyal to the throne (and avoiding another incident like Fján).

Fyskín is the commercial harbour of the country, and by far its richest city. Nearby are mines, and the best goldsmiths of the island have moved to Fyskín in order to sell the product of their craftsmanship. The situation there in regards to the Soo ta Aangii situation is controversial, as slaves have been freed by their masters and have become full-fledged citizens, to the great dismay of many Hafnjans out of Fyskín. Its relative isolation from the capital makes a military intervention rather difficult, besides the fact most of the Cavalry is protecting Dúnkar and Leþeð, as well as the border between Hafnja and Fján.

Fján
Fján is the political and economic centre of the district. This is where decisions are made. It was intended to be the residence of the king's family and as such is also fortified. However, it was taken over by the revolutionaries before the royal family could settle there. The Ruler of Fján has no nobility title and is not refered to as "king", but simply as the Ruler (eþ Brókt). He is elected from the thinkers of the district, who have studied in the university of Fján (considerably smaller than that of Hafnja). The Ruler also has a military councelor, which is a contrario a title earned through merit. Fján is much greener than Hafnja, which was built with practicality in mind: trees and flowers were planted inside of the city walls. Near the Eastern gate is a park in which the many Soo ta Aangii inhabitants gather for their religious rituals.

Greþta is Fján's military HQ. It is a grey, unappealing city whose fortifications were built after the Separation. Though they are welcome inside, the Soo ta Aangii are reluctant to traverse the Greþtan gates. Those who do live in the city are those who have exchanged their peaceful ways for a military training, in hopes that they can avenge their ancestors and their fellow tribesmen who were murdered and brutalised. It is surrounded by fields that are used to feed its population.

Soo ta Aangii territory
Kaelaa is the capital city of the territory. It is their biggest city, as well as their political and military centre. The Kaelaan government works in unison with the Fjánian government, and though they legally are separate political entites, slowly work towards unification. Many Soo ta Aangii continue living as nomads in the forests but those who embraced progress settled in Kaelaa and the other cities. They refer to themselves as Soo ta Kete, people of the city, as opposed to the Soo ta Aangii, people of the forests, the traditionalists who stayed true to their religion. Kaelaa is not fortified but it is guarded by both Soo ta Kete and Fjánian troops.

Ane'an is a citadel that was built by Fján. It is in Soo ta Aangii territory but obeys to Fján. It serves as a wall to prevent Hafnjan troops from entering Soo ta Aangii territory and attacking defenseless tribes and settlements. It is not actually a city but civilians do live inside its walls, mostly farmers.

Kete ta Ilmii and Kete ta Peeng are two tribal settlements. Ilmii and Peeng are two tribes that embraced sedentarism but nevertheless refused to take arms. They are both villages of around 100 people, and although they are under the rule of Kaelaa, they govern themselves by means of direct democracy. They were taught farming, and share the product of their labour equally, collectivist style. They are, religiously and socially, in between the traditionalistic Soo ta Aangii and the completely reformed Soo ta Kete, in some sort of transition state between the two.

Ces'em mountains
Omhersán is the capital city of the K'anerhtóh state. This is where their Citadel was carved in a cliff, inside of which live the two Rulers. The K'anerhtóh state is an oligarchy: the two rulers, a man and woman, share the same amount of power, though they take care of different matters. They are elected separately among the nobility. They do not have to marry; they can both have their own family, but because they will spend most of their lives together, it is not uncommon for them to do so. Omhersán is fortified and is by far the largest city, being host to nearly three quarters of the total K'anerhtóh population. This is also where they built their university and schools.

Hecam and Rhakti are two smaller cities. Being located lower, in plains, where agriculture is actually possible, they are responsible for the production of food of the state. They do not have schools or universities, and those who wish to pursue an education (and who can afford it) must move to Omhersán to do so. They are not fortified or defended, but they are guarded by the K'anerhtóh army who enforces the law. Traditionally, the first-born of the male Ruler "inherits" Hecam, and the first-born of the female Ruler inherits Rhakti. If they are married, they get to decide who will supervise which city. Their role is to make sure rulings passed in the capital make their way to the cities, so that the law is uniformly regarded everywhere.

Eret'a and Phemherh T'em are religious centres. They are not cities but sacred destinations for pilgrimages. Eret'a is the oldest construction made by the ancestors of the K'anerhtóh that still stands to this day, and to get there is extremely difficult, both because of the distance and because of the terrain in the mountains, coupled with the harsh weather. Phemherh T'em is the peak of the Ces'em mountains and is equally difficult to get to. A temple was built there from which it is possible to see Omhersán.
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Religions of Rajnlokem: the Soo ta Aangii

Post by Evynova » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 12:33

Religious beliefs of the people of Rajnlokem
The Soo ta Aangii


The Soo ta Aangii religion is pantheistic. They are animists, but this life force that makes us move and take decisions is what's left of the two supernatural beings that created the world.

In the beginning, the universe was entirely empty, save for two complementary life forces: Vija´a is the essence of all things masculine, and Osekii of everything feminine. They are not sentient gods, nor are they anthropomorphised concepts; rather, they are natural, cosmic forces of nature. At some point, these two forces combined and sort of fused together as one, although not completely. This fusion released energy, which in turn created the stars, the sun, the moon and the clouds (they believe clouds are on the same level as stars). Together, Vija´a and Osekii created the earth, which was more of a big uninhabited boulder, devoid of any life whatsoever.

After that, Vija´a and Osekii began to "melt", or "dissolve", and then sort of "rained down" on the earth. Whether it is a metaphor, or if they take it literally, isn't known, but these "droplets" of life essence "fertilised" the earth. As said earlier, the fusion of Vija´a and Osekii was incomplete, and depending on what fell where, different things happened:

- Vija´a-only droplets, purely masculine essence, when falling on rocks, turned them into human men, or male animals
- Osekii-only droplets, purely feminine essence, when falling on other rocks, turned them into human women, or female animals
- When the latter two fell in the soil, bugs and insects emerged
- The combined, fused essence of Vija´a & Osekii, when falling into the soil, created the vegetation

This has several consequences on their norms and rules. First of all, they believe that since everyone possesses a soul, which is sacred as it is made out of "god", nobody should be treated as superior to another person. It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, as living things are shells controlled by the same amount of divine essence. Consequently, for a very long time, they rejected the concept of hierarchy. Furthermore, because other animals also have a soul, made of the same immaterial substance, they are also treated as equals. Killing is the worst crime imaginable for a Soo ta Aangii, and hunting an animal, even for food, is treated with the same degree of severity as murdering your neighbour in cold blood. They are primarily vegetarian, feeding on whatever they happen to stumble upon; eating a dead animal you didn't kill isn't forbidden, as its soul has already departed its body. The same applies to plants, however, albeit less strictly: agriculture is a foreign practice to the Soo ta Aangii, and is considered as brutal and immoral as breeding cattle. They may eat fruit, leaves and tubers, but must remain careful as to not kill the plant that feeds them.

They do not have gods to pray to, strictly speaking, but worship nature as is. One of the reasons for their nomadism is their will to explore the forest in order to worship it. Prayers take the form of dances and songs, in which every member of a tribe must indulge, most often on a daily basis. They do not have calendars, instead taking each day as it comes.

No calendars, no concept of weeks, months or even years passing. To them, age is unimportant. Two consequences, the first one being that age is not a defining factor for the "level of respect" given to an individual. The young isn't discriminated against for being immature; the elderly isn't esteemed for their wisdom, unlike many "primitive" cultures. The second consequence, more pernicious, is that paedophilia isn't considered a crime. It is not immoral for a person to fall in love with someone 20 years younger, or even engage in intercourse. Note that rape is a crime, but if two individuals consent to the relationship, then no crime was committed.

On the topic of relationships, the Soo ta Aangii are polygamous. Marriage does not exist; rather, people get close then part ways as they please. Both men and women are allowed to have multiple partners. Homosexuality is not condemned either. Thanks to their nomadic tendencies, different tribes often get in contact with one another and it isn't rare for them to exchange members, hereby ensuring genetic diversity and reducing as much as possible incest (incest isn't a crime either, even if it is extremely rare). A relationship can be as platonic as it can be carnal; ephemeral relationships, lacking any form of physical intimacy, are not uncommon, and contribute to tighten the bonds between members of a tribe. We, Westerners of the 21st century, consider the love of a parent for their child, the love between siblings, love between friends, and amorous love/lust to be very different expressions of affection towards someone. The Soo ta Aangii don't. They follow their emotions almost instinctively, for the better or worse.

Why is that? Emotions are the manifestation of the essence that forms the soul. To want to be close to others is just Vija´a and Osekii willing to return to their original state, before they rained down upon the earth. It wouldn't make sense to resist the judgement of the beings that, unbeknownst to them, created all of life.

Now all of this is the traditional culture of the Soo ta Aangii, that is, before the Hafnjan settlement and the separation of Fján, which affected the Soo ta Aangii lifestyle as a whole. The changes brought by those events will be detailed later.
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Re: Religions of Rajnlokem: the Soo ta Aangii

Post by elemtilas » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 16:40

Evynova wrote:This has several consequences on their norms and rules. First of all, they believe that since everyone possesses a soul, which is sacred as it is made out of "god", nobody should be treated as superior to another person. It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, as living things are shells controlled by the same amount of divine essence. Consequently, for a very long time, they rejected the concept of hierarchy. Furthermore, because other animals also have a soul, made of the same immaterial substance, they are also treated as equals. Killing is the worst crime imaginable for a Soo ta Aangii, and hunting an animal, even for food, is treated with the same degree of severity as murdering your neighbour in cold blood. They are primarily vegetarian, feeding on whatever they happen to stumble upon; eating a dead animal you didn't kill isn't forbidden, as its soul has already departed its body. The same applies to plants, however, albeit less strictly: agriculture is a foreign practice to the Soo ta Aangii, and is considered as brutal and immoral as breeding cattle. They may eat fruit, leaves and tubers, but must remain careful as to not kill the plant that feeds them.
Very interesting! So, that leaves carrots and lettuce and so forth out of their diet. What about eggs? Those are analagous to fruits, as they are plucked from a living animal without harming the animal. Could they tend to or associate with various kinds of herdbeasts for milk and fur but without the immorality of keeping and breeding them?

If agriculture is a foreign and immoral practice, how do they treat "accidental agriculture"? You know, after you finish with your apple, you toss the core. New apple treeling springs up. Hey presto: agriculture.
They do not have gods to pray to, strictly speaking, but worship nature as is. One of the reasons for their nomadism is their will to explore the forest in order to worship it. Prayers take the form of dances and songs, in which every member of a tribe must indulge, most often on a daily basis. They do not have calendars, instead taking each day as it comes.
I would guess that the search for new food sources plays into their nomadism. Sooner or later, the local stocks will be depleted and since they have no agricultural connexion to a piece of land, moving around makes sense.

Do they keep semi-permanent settlements that they go around to from time to time? Or do they wander much more randomly?
No calendars, no concept of weeks, months or even years passing. To them, age is unimportant. Two consequences, the first one being that age is not a defining factor for the "level of respect" given to an individual. The young isn't discriminated against for being immature; the elderly isn't esteemed for their wisdom, unlike many "primitive" cultures. The second consequence, more pernicious, is that paedophilia isn't considered a crime. It is not immoral for a person to fall in love with someone 20 years younger, or even engage in intercourse. Note that rape is a crime, but if two individuals consent to the relationship, then no crime was committed.
I was wondering if the P-word wouldn't be brandished here! The questions I'd ask, here, are at approximately what age do these people mature physically & socially; and is there an understanding of the distinction between sexually & socially immature and sexually & socially mature? In a "primitive" society of this sort, and a subsistence one at that, I can't imagine that life spans would be terribly long and I can't imagine that childhood lasts for very long either. I'd imagine a ten year old would be pretty much one his own. A thirteen or fourteen year old may already be breeding. So, a mating pair that is 14 and 32 years old doesn't seem too odd and in context is certainly not pedophilic in nature. I doubt very much the word or concept would even be on the radar.

Of course, the final question in the series is this: what about sexual relationships between the 32 year old and an 8 year old? In other words, how much does age not matter?
On the topic of relationships, the Soo ta Aangii are polygamous. Marriage does not exist; rather, people get close then part ways as they please. Both men and women are allowed to have multiple partners. Homosexuality is not condemned either. Thanks to their nomadic tendencies, different tribes often get in contact with one another and it isn't rare for them to exchange members, hereby ensuring genetic diversity and reducing as much as possible incest (incest isn't a crime either, even if it is extremely rare). A relationship can be as platonic as it can be carnal; ephemeral relationships, lacking any form of physical intimacy, are not uncommon, and contribute to tighten the bonds between members of a tribe. We, Westerners of the 21st century, consider the love of a parent for their child, the love between siblings, love between friends, and amorous love/lust to be very different expressions of affection towards someone. The Soo ta Aangii don't. They follow their emotions almost instinctively, for the better or worse.
Interesting!
Why is that? Emotions are the manifestation of the essence that forms the soul. To want to be close to others is just Vija´a and Osekii willing to return to their original state, before they rained down upon the earth. It wouldn't make sense to resist the judgement of the beings that, unbeknownst to them, created all of life.
Good stuff in here!
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 21:32

So, that leaves carrots and lettuce and so forth out of their diet. What about eggs? Those are analagous to fruits, as they are plucked from a living animal without harming the animal. Could they tend to or associate with various kinds of herdbeasts for milk and fur but without the immorality of keeping and breeding them?
Interesting question! Knowing eggs aren't living organisms, I suppose someone could consume one without being accused of murder by his/her peers. There are two problems though: if the egg was fertilised and a foetus was forming inside, cracking it open might be considered murder. It would really depend on personal interpetation, since a foetus isn't a living animal capable of decision making, but some might think killing it is just as immoral. We're stuck on a pro-life/pro-choice style debate. The second problem is that consent is extremely important to them, as they abhor violence and avoid it like the plague. How can you be sure you didn't steal the egg from the bird? Of course, if it was not fertilised, the egg would have gone to waste anyway, but unless you found it by chance, acquiring by means of force/ruse is theft, and morally proscribed. All in all I would say that in regards to eggs, it would really depend on who you ask. I think they would find it preferable not to take the risk of ending a soon-to-be birdie.

As for milk, because they are intolerant to lactose, the question is quickly answered. Supposing that they weren't, consent would still be the problem. How can you be sure the animal allows you to take its milk? That said, I think the average Soo ta Aangii would hold a typically vegan discourse, stressing the fact cows produce milk for calves, sheep for lambs, etc. Besides, granted that they live in relatively dense forests, there aren't many animals which they could draw milk from. Perhaps the debate would arise in the Soo ta Aangii populations living in the cities in Fján and Hafnja, but they have for the most part completely reinterpreted their religion, so it wouldn't be too much of a problem to them I reckon.
If agriculture is a foreign and immoral practice, how do they treat "accidental agriculture"? You know, after you finish with your apple, you toss the core. New apple treeling springs up. Hey presto: agriculture.
I should have looked up the definition of agriculture, that's my bad. Well in this case, planting seeds in order to grow new trees would be great for two reasons: 1) you're creating new life & the Soo ta Aangii have a close relationship to trees (they offer protection) 2) when your primary means of subsistance are fruits you happen to pick, planting new trees that will end up feeding you is the way to go. What I meant by agriculture, is fields of some sort, plants that you cut off in order to harvest and eat. Growing plants is something every Soo ta Aangii must do; killing plants is a crime. I suppose if they were to settle in villages, they could plant fruit trees and live off of them, so long as they don't kill the trees themselves.
Do they keep semi-permanent settlements that they go around to from time to time? Or do they wander much more randomly?
Originally, they pretty much walked around aimlessly. When you consider absolutely everything that exists to be sacred, you don't really develop sacred places (much unlike the Hafnjans & K'anerhtóh). And as they cannot cut off trees for construction, they don't know how to build anything other than a hut made out of a pile of twigs and branches they found on the floor. So no, no settlements they regularly visit.

Well, traditionally that is. All of that applies to traditional Soo ta Aangii, long before the Roderans built Hafnja and Fján became independent from the Hafnjan kingdom. After the massive changes that those events caused, cities were built in their territory, after a Fján-Soo ta Aangii coalition was formed, so that they could defend themselves better in case of increased Hafnjan assault. As I wrote in a previous post, Ane´an and Kaelaa are fortified cities, inhabited by "reformed" Soo ta Aangii; they adopted a much different lifestyle and abandoned most of their traditional beliefs and practices. Kete ta Ilmii and Kete ta Peeng are much smaller settlements built further East, deep in the forests. They serve as shelters for the Soo ta Aangii that refused to reform and keep following the footsteps of their ancestors. They don't have to, but they can visit those settlements if they want/need to.
I was wondering if the P-word wouldn't be brandished here! The questions I'd ask, here, are at approximately what age do these people mature physically & socially; and is there an understanding of the distinction between sexually & socially immature and sexually & socially mature? In a "primitive" society of this sort, and a subsistence one at that, I can't imagine that life spans would be terribly long and I can't imagine that childhood lasts for very long either. I'd imagine a ten year old would be pretty much one his own. A thirteen or fourteen year old may already be breeding. So, a mating pair that is 14 and 32 years old doesn't seem too odd and in context is certainly not pedophilic in nature. I doubt very much the word or concept would even be on the radar.

Of course, the final question in the series is this: what about sexual relationships between the 32 year old and an 8 year old? In other words, how much does age not matter?
This is sort of complicated, for several reasons. The first one being that they do not keep track of age, as I mentioned. They assume adulthood to start when one is "sexually capable". Before that, you are a child. Not that it matters: so long as you can communicate and make decisions, you are responsible for yourself (although a tribe is extremely solidary and even individual problems are faced as a group), and age does not dictate how you are treated by your peers. Obviously, a toddler that is incapable of speaking, and thus, of consenting (remember when I said consent was important) would under no circumstances be eligible for relationships. At this point, the whole group takes care of the child (no matter who the parents are), until he or she is able to speak and make decisions. The other problem is the fact that they make little to no distinction between the "types of love" we have over here.

So to make it short: it is unacceptable to engage in physical acts with someone/something that can't explicitly say it agrees to it, including babies. Children can however say yes or no, but once again cannot indulge in physically intimate acts unless they are sexually mature, biologically speaking. They can love and be loved, but sex is out of question. An adult feeling sexual attraction towards a child (before sexual maturity) wouldn't be blamed of a crime of any sort, though rape is obviously strictly forbidden. Here, raping would mean any sort of unsollicited intimate contact.

And to answer that final question, in the unlikely event that the 8 year old is sexually mature, there would be no problem with the pair making love. If not, they could be in one of those platonic relationships I mentioned, with a sort of parent-child bond (even if they aren't related), but physical sex would be frowned upon by the rest of the tribe for sure. The child could have consented, but their body was not ready. Not "as bad" but still morally debatable.

Thanks for the positive comments anyway, I appreciate it :)
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by elemtilas » Wed 07 Jun 2017, 23:40

Evynova wrote:Knowing eggs aren't living organisms, I suppose someone could consume one without being accused of murder by his/her peers. There are two problems though: if the egg was fertilised and a foetus was forming inside, cracking it open might be considered murder. It would really depend on personal interpetation, since a foetus isn't a living animal capable of decision making, but some might think killing it is just as immoral. We're stuck on a pro-life/pro-choice style debate.
Maybe not exactly that complicated! I suspect this society is not engaged in such deep moral-scientific questions as when does life begin.

And also, if they're going to view an egg with fetus being eaten as an act of murder, why wouldn't eating seeds or tatties be seen in similar light? Especially since it's clear that those little eyes you get on potatoes are baby potato plants.

I have to say, this is an interesting system these people have. It will be interesting to see how they fare when placed under stress or duress. Bad winters, droughts and so forth.
The second problem is that consent is extremely important to them, as they abhor violence and avoid it like the plague. How can you be sure you didn't steal the egg from the bird? Of course, if it was not fertilised, the egg would have gone to waste anyway, but unless you found it by chance, acquiring by means of force/ruse is theft, and morally proscribed. All in all I would say that in regards to eggs, it would really depend on who you ask. I think they would find it preferable not to take the risk of ending a soon-to-be birdie.
Might they not have come up some kind of ritual that both gives them leave to take an egg and also thank the bird for its sacrifice on their behalf?
As for milk, because they are intolerant to lactose, the question is quickly answered.
Right. It's as good as useless for them!
Supposing that they weren't, consent would still be the problem. How can you be sure the animal allows you to take its milk?
How can they be certain the tree willingly gives its apples?

Surely there must be some myth or cycle of myths that sanctions the taking of sustenance in order to survive and some kind of ritual designed to seek the favor of such plants & animals and also to express gratitude to them!
That said, I think the average Soo ta Aangii would hold a typically vegan discourse, stressing the fact cows produce milk for calves, sheep for lambs, etc. Besides, granted that they live in relatively dense forests, there aren't many animals which they could draw milk from. Perhaps the debate would arise in the Soo ta Aangii populations living in the cities in Fján and Hafnja, but they have for the most part completely reinterpreted their religion, so it wouldn't be too much of a problem to them I reckon.
Ah, a schism!
If agriculture is a foreign and immoral practice, how do they treat "accidental agriculture"? You know, after you finish with your apple, you toss the core. New apple treeling springs up. Hey presto: agriculture.
I should have looked up the definition of agriculture, that's my bad. Well in this case, planting seeds in order to grow new trees would be great for two reasons: 1) you're creating new life & the Soo ta Aangii have a close relationship to trees (they offer protection) 2) when your primary means of subsistance are fruits you happen to pick, planting new trees that will end up feeding you is the way to go. What I meant by agriculture, is fields of some sort, plants that you cut off in order to harvest and eat. Growing plants is something every Soo ta Aangii must do; killing plants is a crime. I suppose if they were to settle in villages, they could plant fruit trees and live off of them, so long as they don't kill the trees themselves.
So, gardening might be a viable source of obtaining sustenance for them? Tree-gardening, anyway. They could also try their hand at various kinds of squash --- picking the fruit doesn't kill the plant. But of course, they could only use naturally occurring clearings. Can't cut down trees to plant crops!
Do they keep semi-permanent settlements that they go around to from time to time? Or do they wander much more randomly?
Originally, they pretty much walked around aimlessly. When you consider absolutely everything that exists to be sacred, you don't really develop sacred places (much unlike the Hafnjans & K'anerhtóh). And as they cannot cut off trees for construction, they don't know how to build anything other than a hut made out of a pile of twigs and branches they found on the floor. So no, no settlements they regularly visit.
Okay. Do they wear clothing? (I would imagine not, since they can't kill animals for leather, can't strip plants for fibers.) Maybe just decorative ornaments and perhaps body paint? (Sounds a lot like Daine!)
I was wondering if the P-word wouldn't be brandished here! The questions I'd ask, here, are at approximately what age do these people mature physically & socially; and is there an understanding of the distinction between sexually & socially immature and sexually & socially mature? In a "primitive" society of this sort, and a subsistence one at that, I can't imagine that life spans would be terribly long and I can't imagine that childhood lasts for very long either. I'd imagine a ten year old would be pretty much one his own. A thirteen or fourteen year old may already be breeding. So, a mating pair that is 14 and 32 years old doesn't seem too odd and in context is certainly not pedophilic in nature. I doubt very much the word or concept would even be on the radar. Of course, the final question in the series is this: what about sexual relationships between the 32 year old and an 8 year old? In other words, how much does age not matter?
This is sort of complicated, for several reasons. The first one being that they do not keep track of age, as I mentioned. They assume adulthood to start when one is "sexually capable". Before that, you are a child. Not that it matters: so long as you can communicate and make decisions, you are responsible for yourself (although a tribe is extremely solidary and even individual problems are faced as a group), and age does not dictate how you are treated by your peers. Obviously, a toddler that is incapable of speaking, and thus, of consenting (remember when I said consent was important) would under no circumstances be eligible for relationships. At this point, the whole group takes care of the child (no matter who the parents are), until he or she is able to speak and make decisions. The other problem is the fact that they make little to no distinction between the "types of love" we have over here.

So to make it short: it is unacceptable to engage in physical acts with someone/something that can't explicitly say it agrees to it, including babies. Children can however say yes or no, but once again cannot indulge in physically intimate acts unless they are sexually mature, biologically speaking. They can love and be loved, but sex is out of question. An adult feeling sexual attraction towards a child (before sexual maturity) wouldn't be blamed of a crime of any sort, though rape is obviously strictly forbidden. Here, raping would mean any sort of unsollicited intimate contact.

And to answer that final question, in the unlikely event that the 8 year old is sexually mature, there would be no problem with the pair making love. If not, they could be in one of those platonic relationships I mentioned, with a sort of parent-child bond (even if they aren't related), but physical sex would be frowned upon by the rest of the tribe for sure. The child could have consented, but their body was not ready. Not "as bad" but still morally debatable.

Thanks for the positive comments anyway, I appreciate it :)
Sure, and thanks for the clarifications! Certainly hope to hear (much) more about these folks as time goes on.
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 11:01

Maybe not exactly that complicated! I suspect this society is not engaged in such deep moral-scientific questions as when does life begin.

And also, if they're going to view an egg with fetus being eaten as an act of murder, why wouldn't eating seeds or tatties be seen in similar light? Especially since it's clear that those little eyes you get on potatoes are baby potato plants.

I have to say, this is an interesting system these people have. It will be interesting to see how they fare when placed under stress or duress. Bad winters, droughts and so forth.
Well, a seed doesn't look like a foetus. A foetus at an advanced stage does look fairly similar to the animal it will become, this is not the case for a seed. Now then again, why eat a handful of seeds, when each of them can produce a tree that will bear enough fruits to feed several people? As for potatoes, I know from experience that if you remove the sprout and plant it, it will grow into a potato plant. They could definitely eat potatoes after having removed the sprouts and planted them; they don't kill baby tatoes, and they make sure that whenever they come back, they will have new potatoes to eat.

During harsh times of hunger they are known to travel much less. They replace the dances with times of meditation, and the sung prayers turn into whispered poems. This way, they preserve energy and by being closer, they make sure to also preserve the solidarity between members of the tribe. They are, in rare cases, known to resort to cannibalism (they consume the corpse of a departed one instead of burying it). More realistically, in times of famine, they will eat "forbidden" food to survive, but how they react to that depends on the tribe. Some tribes hold a "purification" ritual according to which you are prevented from eating for a specified amount of time (the tribe decides). You are to spend those days praying and hope nature forgives you for your crime: if you survive the fasting, you are forgiven. If you starve, well, that is your punishment. Other tribes will pray together as a group. And in the rarest of cases, ritual suicide, generally for the worst crimes. Since you took lives, you will give yours in return. You ate what you shouldn't have, so you feed yourself to nature in compensation. Needless to say, suicide is, like murder, the worst crime a Soo ta Aangii could possibly commit. Most tribes see this sacrifice as heresy: you cannot decide to end your life yourself, that's the forest's decision to make. Fortunately, it isn't very common.
Might they not have come up some kind of ritual that both gives them leave to take an egg and also thank the bird for its sacrifice on their behalf?
Well, not really. Animals are on the same level as humans, disrespecting a bird is just as offensive as disrespecting your parents. For them to take the egg, they would need to be sure it was willingly given by the bird. Generally the way to go about that is to approach the nest with the bird nearby; if you're attacked that's a no, if not, help yourself. If you were really hungry and couldn't help yourself, you hold a purification ritual. You will give your own food to birds as compensation, and pray for their forgiveness.
How can they be certain the tree willingly gives its apples?

Surely there must be some myth or cycle of myths that sanctions the taking of sustenance in order to survive and some kind of ritual designed to seek the favor of such plants & animals and also to express gratitude to them!
They prefer picking the fruits off the ground, but they do climb trees for their fruits. They believe that if the tree wasn't okay with you picking its fruits, it will punish you. Trees are absolutely sacred to them and are believed to be sentient and intelligent. If you mess with the wrong tree, the forest will hold you accountable. It could be that the fruit is rotten or filled with worms; you could contract diseases; you may even become really unlucky and hurt yourself by accident. They have no way to ask the tree directly but they have a way to know if they slipped up.
Ah, a schism!
Yep! The next post will be about the reformed Soo ta Aangii who adopted the lifestyle of the Hafnjans/Fjánians, and those who refused to but have seen a change in their lifestyle (the inhabitants of Kete ta Ilmii and Kete ta Peeng mostly).
So, gardening might be a viable source of obtaining sustenance for them? Tree-gardening, anyway. They could also try their hand at various kinds of squash --- picking the fruit doesn't kill the plant. But of course, they could only use naturally occurring clearings. Can't cut down trees to plant crops!
That is correct! That's what they do in the two settlements I mentioned earlier.
Okay. Do they wear clothing? (I would imagine not, since they can't kill animals for leather, can't strip plants for fibers.) Maybe just decorative ornaments and perhaps body paint? (Sounds a lot like Daine!)
They're really good at braiding the twigs they find on the ground. They can make basic loincloths out of branches and leaves. They can decorate them with flowers, leaves or various pebbles. They also make necklaces and wristbands with their skills, that they also decorate with leaves or flowers. I would show some pics of my drawing skills weren't so mediocre. But yes, they are naked most of the time. They do not practise body painting, that would require materials that they don't have access to. They could crush fruits in theory but they prefer eating them.
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Sun 29 Oct 2017, 16:58

Religious beliefs of the K'anerhtóh

The belief system of the K'anerhtóh differs from that of the Soo ta Aangii and the Hafnjans, in that they do not recognise the existence of deities. Instead, the world is governed by a supernatural energy, supernatural forces that the untrained eye cannot see. Two major temples exist, one in Phemher T'em, and the other one in Eret'a, in which live monks that devote their lives to understanding how these energies influence the world.

The K'anerhtóh are not overzealous about religion, and though it is commonly accepted that everyone believes, some philosophers have expressed ideas opposing the religion, which were relatively peacefully welcomed. There are several rituals, such as pilgrimages, and periods of fasting and meditation that are followed by the most religious. The K'anerhtóh try to maintain a certain balance in everything, and religion is no exception: to never partake in any ritual at all is as frowned upon as devoting your entire life to religion. Even monks, arguably the most pious members of the K'anerhtónian society, still occasionally leave the temples to visit their friends and families. Monks are also part of the "thinking class" of society and therefore play an important role in politics, which the average citizen does not have access to.

How to become a monk?
Monkhood is not accessible to all members of K'anerhtónian society: there is a series of rituals and tests, upon the success of which a person may apply for monkhood. However, in order to have access to said tests, one must have followed an education in the university of the capital. Access to the university is limited by several parameters, but the most important barrier to cross is money. Indeed, although some important families (the equivalent of a nobility title was granted to them) may receive free tuition, the entry fee is extremely onerous, and only the richest members of society can even hope to be accepted in the school of Omhersán. Then, one must succeed with only the best results; monks are not the average thinkers and philosophers, they are the elite. Understandably, only the best students will be considered.

When one applies for monkhood, there are several tests, most of which are about historical and religious knowledge. Then, there are the rituals. The first ritual is a pilgrimage through the Ces'em moutains, from one temple to another, alone. Ordinarily, K'anerhtónian law states that one must not venture alone out of cities, and one must be accompanied by at least 2 other people, but pilgrims are an exception to this rule. They must learn to understand the forces of nature, and show they are able to survive following their instincts. The ritual is thought to better the senses of the apprentice, and help them notice patterns and signs so as to be able to predict what will happen in the future, near or distant. There is no time limit, and the pilgrim may stop in cities along the way for food supplies. The most important part is to succeed and survive alone. The goal isn't to be quick, it is to prove your instincts are good enough to help you survive in the wild alone, and to prove your senses are acute enough for you to see the many ways in which this mysterious energy can manifest itself through the forces of nature, and understand its language.

The second ritual is a period of fasting. Once the pilgrim reaches a temple, he or she rests and recovers for 3 days, then must fast for another 3 days, where eating and drinking are utterly forbidden; if they die, they were not worthy. During these 3 days, the pilgrim will meditate, and learn to channel their internal energy to be in tune with the world energy, essence of all things. The ritual has two purposes. The first of which, is to prove you are able to control your pulsions under all circumstances (self control is a nearly sacred value in the K'anerhtóhnian culture). The second one is to train you to be in tune with nature, and hear what it has to say, through a meditation induced trance.

The last ritual is probably the most gruesome of them all. The pilgrim must sacrifice one of their senses. It is extremely common to sacrifice speech: the tongue is cut off, or the mouth is sewn shut, save for a small orifice from which the monk will be able to feed. Other senses may be sacrificed: sight (the eyes are gauged out, or the eyelids sewn shut); touch (the fingers are burnt, frozen until they fall off, or the hands may be cut off); some sacrifice their ability to procreate through various methods of genital mutilation. This ritual is by far the most difficult for the young pilgrims, and the one that fails the most often, understandably so. Sacrificing a sense is thought to help improve the one used when meditating.

Monkhood is not gender-specific, and both men and women, granted they fit the criteria, may apply. That said, male monks reside in Phemher T'em, while female monks live in Eret'a.

What role do monks play in society?
As said earlier, they are the elite philosophers of the K'anerhtóhnian society. They serve as the counselling body to the two rulers, and are commonly consulted to predict the future. They may be fortune tellers, in exchange for a fee or a donation but some monks refuse to use their talents for such mundane purposes, while others embrace the idea of helping the population whilst simultaneously helping fund the maintenance of the temples.

As a counselling body, they are commonly consulted by the rulers themselves, whenever they wish to make a decision. The king, who deals with the laws that concern men, consults the male monks. Conversely, the queen consults the female monks. Due to the geographical distance separating the citadel where the rulers reside, and the temples, some monks may be officially appointed to stay in Omhersán to be readily accessible when need be.
Monks do not legally have veto power, but if a significant number of them oppose a proposed decision, the rulers may decide to scrap it altogether.

As philosophers and fortune tellers, they frequently release parchments and stone tablets containing their thoughts, ideas and predictions. They may give public statements to warn of an imminent danger (usually snow storms, but also famines and epidemies), or to initiate a cultural revolution; some "old" ideas and values may be scrapped for new ways of thinking, and monks are the ones who initiate cultural and societal changes. Because they are often consulted by both the population and the rulers, they are aware of the concerns of both, and they may work as the only means of communication between the people and the ruling power. Monks are also very often teachers and professors. They teach philosophy, theology, survival, and multiple methods of meditation. They have also designed a sign language, due to the need to communicate with the monks that sacrificed their oral speech or their hearing. This sign language is taught in schools and is extremely popular among explorers, hunters and other people for whom communication over long distances, or stealth is important. The deaf communities of the Ces'em mountains also benefit from this creation, as it allows them to remain connected to society.

A non-exhaustive list of religious rituals
Commoners also follow religious rituals and practices, most of which are very similar to the ones observed by the monks. There is no centralised society or organisation responsible for the codification of an "official way to believe", but monks, once again, usually lead the way.

Monkhood apprentices have legal access to pilgrimage, but it is accessible to anyone. Traditionally, a short pilgrimage from a city to another, or from a city to a temple takes place when entering adulthood. Some ambitious daredevils plan a full-scale pilgrimage, from temple to temple, sometimes even including the fastings, but it is the exception more than it is the rule. Though not legally required, it is expected that a K'anerhto citizen go on a pilgrimage at least once in their life. As opposed to monkhood apprentices, "citizen pilgrims" are allowed (and even encouraged) to travel in groups, as group survival strengthens the bond between the participants, and travelling in groups increases the chances of survival.

Two periods of fasting are organised each year: one for men and one for women. The first one takes place when fruits start growing on trees. The second one takes place when leaves fall off trees. Neither is gender-specific, and it alternates each year (one year is the first fasting for men, the next year it is for women, etc). Only adults are allowed to fast, as children are considered too weak and situations that may increase child mortality are for the most part illegal.

By far the most popular ritual is meditation. Some families meditate together once a week; others meditate every single day. Meditation is seen as the way to strengthen bonds, and allow intimacy to settle: the K'anerhtóh are extremely reserved and it isn't socially acceptable to show 'unreasonable' amounts of affection too quickly, especially in public. Meditation is the only way to be both physically and emotionally close to someone, and to open up to them. For example, courtship is very much frowned upon, and thus young lovebirds express their love for one another when meditating together. That said, arranged marriages are extremely common. Nevertheless, if there is an issue to discuss between members of a family, or between two people, the only acceptable time and place to vent is during meditation. Furthermore, it is also perfectly acceptable to meditate alone, whatever the reason may be. Most houses have a room dedicated to the ritual, and all cities have at least one temple.

Material sacrifices are also common, be they of food, cattle, clothes, jewellery, money, ... A number of public festivities also exist, and they will be detailed in later posts.
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Re: Rajnlokem: multi-cultural island

Post by Evynova » Tue 07 Nov 2017, 20:20

Soo ta Aangii religion: about the soul, life & death

As established in the previous posts, the Soo ta Aangii believe that every living creature is animated by a soul, the remains of Vija'a, the masculine life force, and Osekii, its feminine counterpart, after they created the universe and, weakened, rained down upon the earth and fertilised it. Droplets of Osekii turned the rocks into trees, and female animals and humans; whereas droplets of Vija'a turned rocks into mushrooms, and male animals and humans. Osekii and Vija'a wanted to be united but dissolved before they could. As a result, male and female animals are attracted to each other; that is the manifestation of the soul that inhabits them. This is why love is so strong.

But what happens to the soul after the body dies?

Even after the body dies, the soul is still contained inside. It is thought to be located in the abdomen, hidden in the ribcage but extending to the lower organs and the neck; when we feel all tingly inside, that is just the soul inside us "beaming", being more active. When we can't breathe because we are scared, it is also the soul trying to make itself as small as possible to protect itself. More than an energy source that animates us, it is animate and sentient.

After the body has rotten away, and the corpse is no more than a mere skeleton, then the soul is free. From there, the soul will evaporate; it will raise up to the skies and re-enter the void whence it comes. Because it is too weak to maintain itself there, it will rain down again on earth. Rain is sacred, and by extension water too, as they are thought to contain the souls of the deceased that returned to the voic and came back again. Either of two things may happen: either the soul will sprout in the form of a plant or mushroom, or the water will be ingested by an animal or human, that will be able to extract the soul from it and create life. This "soul-extracting ability" comes at a cost: having multiple souls in a single body will have negative effects, such as is abdominal pain and bleeding once a month, after the soul(s) exit the body (they are too weak to stay inside forever). Only women may create life from absorbed souls and consequently, only women menstruate. Furthermore, menstruations are not taboo. On the contrary, they are, surprisingly for most of us, celebrated. A woman on her period will very often collect her menstrual blood and use it for body painting. She will draw geometrical shapes and swirls on her face, arms, legs and torso; the ritual is thought to bring luck and fertility ("look at me, souls, I suffer but I am able to survive; let me create a body for you").

Of course, making a baby is not biologically possible without a male reproductive cell fertilising a female reproductive cell. But their belief is that for a soul to be turned into a person, it needs to come in contact with semen. When the earth was created by Osekii and Vija'a, it was covered in this white substance. When they rained down, all of it disappeared, but males acquired the ability to produce it in limited amounts. Making love is therefore the only way for the soul to get a body (souls contained in water are not protected in a body and are too weak to keep the "soil-substance" to themselves). Semen is not considered taboo or disgusting. Male masturbation is however frowned upon, as it is a waste of "resources"; you are wasting the sacred potential to create a body to host a soul, a tiny bit of Osekii or Vija'a.

Death is therefore not viewed as a sad event, and, regardless, isn't a fatality: the souls will return to the earth; and your purpose as a living human, is to be able to create a "shell" for these souls to inhabit when they return, and/or care for them while they are here. A bird, a tree, a worm, a mosquito; all of those contain a soul, and perhaps even that of a friend you lost.
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