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The Flowing Pen

What in Your World: Culture

Welcome to the next to last week of What In Your World. This week is all about culture. Cultures on earth are extremely varied, so why shouldn't the cultures in our made up worlds be just as varied? Some of the best fantasy books are the ones that make you feel like you're in an entirely different world...what better way to do that than through your own cultures?

The cultures of Orrion are extremely different. From the fairly self-serving country of Erot, to the freedom loving Salda, all the way to the beautiful, yet barbaric Airthi, they are different.

As such, each culture has a different view on men and women, and their roles.

Erot is a patriarchal kingdom. By nature, men are stronger physically, and so they are the ones in charge. Women have rights, of course. They are free to take whatever jobs they are given, and in some instances, such as a young woman who became a military general, are treated with utmost respect. However, at the same time many men view women as belongings, and rape is very prevalent in Erot.

Salda is almost the opposite. Again, by nature, men are stronger physically. But that doesn't mean they are "in charge". The men are viewed as the protectors of women and children—especially women. Women are the most special and important inhabitants of this country. As such they are given some restrictions—not out of control, but out of protection. Women are not allowed to take jobs that have the high risk of harming them, such as soldier, or blacksmith, but they can take virtually any other job. Women are teachers, leaders, doctors, scholars...almost anything they want to be.

I haven't visited Airthi enough to know where they stand in this debate.

However, I do know Airthi's view on slavery. Not only is it accepted, but it is very widely practiced. They will enslave those indebted to them, orphans, homeless, widows, captured enemies, and even travelers separated from their group.

Erot claims to detest slavery, but depending on the king, such things may be brushed aside as unimportant. Anyone caught owning a slave in Salda is imprisoned at best, put to death at worst.

Family is very important in all three countries I've mentioned.

In Erot drinking alcohol is seen as a normal part of life, though drunkards may be viewed with contempt. It's much the same in Salda, though I don't know about Airthi yet.

And I know nothing about drugs in these countries, unless they're medicinal, and medicines are definitely allowed!

In Erot, there are no specific items of clothing that must be worn by royalty (except the crown at certain festivals) and nothing that commoners are not allowed to wear. By necessity commoners tend to have plainer clothing, but if the king gave them his robe, they would not be forbidden from wearing it.

I don't yet know about the Saldian or Airthian. clothing rules or lack thereof.

And that wraps up week four of #whatinyourworld! Be back next week for the fifth and final week: Religion.

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