Ertheurtha (Zyanya Supplement)
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 Life and Society:
Laws are passed down orally and committed to memory. It is forbidden to use them in written form, for it is believed the written word can be corrupted, and by using the oral tradition, the spirit of the law will be followed as well as the form.
Most live in thatched houses. Stone construction is reserved for public works such as temples, government halls, and gymnasiums.
It is customary in Ertheurtha that before the Ertheurtha citizen males would go off to war, their wives or another female of some significance would present them with their shield and say: "With this, or upon this" —meaning Ertheurthans could only return to Ertheurtha in one of two ways: victorious or dead. If a Ertheurthan hoplite were to return to Ertheurtha alive and without his shield, it was assumed that he threw his shield at the enemy in an effort to flee; an act punishable by death or banishment. It is interesting to note that a soldier losing his helm, breastplate or greaves (leg armour) was not similarly punished, as these items were personal pieces of armour designed to protect one soldier. However, the shield not only protected the individual soldier but in the tightly packed Ertheurthan phalanx was also instrumental in protecting the soldier to his left from harm. Thus the shield was symbolic of the individual soldier's subordination to his unit, his integral part in its success, and his solemn responsibility to his comrades in arms—messmates and friends, often close blood relations. It could not be lost.
Burials in Ertheurtha were also considered an act of honor, and marked headstones would only be granted to Ertheurthan soldiers who died in combat during a victorious campaign (or females who died in service of a divine office or in childbirth). In Ertheurtha, the words 'may you live forever' are considered a curse.
A strong emphasis was placed on honor and carrying out acts because it was the 'right thing to do.'
In spite of this though, the helots (the majority inhabitants of Ertheurtha) did not have voting rights and are often ritually mistreated and humiliated. They are economically supported by the Ertheurthans, and viewed as a something between slaves and animals. Helots who become too fat are put to death, with their masters fined for letting them get fat.
Ertheurtha citizen boys left home for military boarding school at the age of seven and were required to serve in the army until age of thirty. Then they passed into the active reserve, where they remained until the age of sixty. Ertheurtha education from the ages of seven to thirty emphasized physical toughness, steadfastness in military ranks, and absolute obedience to orders. The ordinary Ertheurtha was a citizen-warrior, or hoplite, trained to obey and endure; he became a politician only if chosen as ephor for a single year. He could be elected a life member of the council after his sixtieth year, in which he would be free from military service. Men were encouraged to marry at the age of twenty but could not live with their families until they left their active military service at age thirty. The Ertheurtha perfected the craft of hoplite warfare. They called themselves "homoioi" (equals), pointing to their common lifestyle and the discipline of the phalanx, which demanded that no soldier be superior to his comrades.
When the Ertheurtha began military training – aged seven – they would enter the agoge system for the education and training—everything from physical training such as hunting and dancing, to emotional, and spiritual training. At that age they would have to go through what was known as the gauntlet. They would have to run around a group of older children, who would flog them continually with whips, sometimes to death. As they were lightly clothed, and had no bedding to speak of, children would often put thistles in their pallet because the prickling sensation made them feel warmer. On leaving the agoge they would be sorted into groups, whereupon some were sent into the countryside with nothing and forced to survive on their skills and cunning; this was called the krypteia, believed to be an initiation rite to seek out and kill helots who were considered to be troublesome to the state, or were found to be wandering the countryside with no good reason.
At the age of twenty, the Ertheurtha citizen began his membership in one of the syssitia (dining messes or clubs), composed of about fifteen members each, of which every citizen was required to be a member. Here each group learned how to bond and rely on one another. The Ertheurtha exercised the full rights and duties of a citizen at the age of thirty. Only native Ertheurtha were considered full citizens, and needed to undergo the training as prescribed by law, and participation in and contribution to one of the dining-clubs. Those who fulfilled these conditions were considered "peers" (homoioi), citizens in the fullest sense of the word, while those who failed were called "lesser citizens, " and retained only the civil rights of citizenship.
Ertheurtha citizens were debarred by law from trade or manufacture, which consequently rested in the hands of the perioeci, and were forbidden (in theory) to possess either gold or silver. Ertheurtha currency consisted of bars of iron, thus making thievery and foreign commerce very difficult and discouraging the accumulation of riches. Wealth was, in theory at least, derived entirely from landed property, and consisted in the annual return made by the helots, who cultivated the plots of ground allotted to the Ertheurtha citizens. Helots were ruthlessly controlled, partly through the custom of krypteia.
Full citizens, released from any economic activity, were given a piece of land (kleros), which was cultivated and run by the helots.
Ertheurtha women enjoyed a status, power and respect that was unknown in the rest of the classical world. They controlled their own properties, as well as the properties of male relatives who were away with the army. It is estimated that women were the sole owners of at least 35% of all land and property in Ertheurtha. The laws regarding a divorce were the same for both men and women. A Ertheurthan woman became the heiress of her father if she had no living brothers to inherit (an epikleros). Ertheurtha women received as much education as men, as well as a substantial amount of physical education and gymnastic training. They rarely married before the age of 20, wore short dresses and went where they pleased. It was possible for them to appear entirely nude even publicly, which they did customarily only at festivals, as did the men.
Women, being independent, were able to negotiate with their husbands to bring their lovers into their homes. Men both allowed and encouraged their wives to bear the children of other men, due to the general communal ethos which made it more important to bear many progeny for the good of the city, than to be jealously concerned with one's own family unit. However, in some areas of Ertheurtha, this 'wife sharing' was only reserved for elder males who had not yet produced an heir.
When asked by a woman from Tarchon why Ertheurtha women were the only women in the world who could rule men, one queen stated, famously, it was because only Ertheurtha women give birth to real men.
Ertheurtha is a warrior state, with two kings, five annually elected ephors, a council of elders (gerousia), over which the first ephor presided, and an assembly of the citizens (apella). The inhabitants has three types of recognized status—citizens of Ertheurtha (Ertheurans), perioikoi (noncitizens from surrounding villages) and helots. Though the lack the numbers of other polis, their legendary warriors manage to keep them independent. They are known to trade in mercenaries as well as citrus and olives. Though most warriors are male, the women of Ertheurtha are also trained in the use of weapons and expected to train the males in their early years. All males of Ertheurtha are considered members of the army. Children that cannot keep up with the required military training are usually killed.
Ertheurtha is, above all, a militarist state, and emphasis on military fitness began virtually at birth. Shortly after birth, the mother of the child bathed it in wine to see whether the child was strong. If the child survived it was brought before the elders of the tribe by the child's father. The elders then decided whether it was to be reared or not. If found defective or weak, the baby was left on the wild slopes of Apothetae, or the Place of Rejection - to die; but it was also common for these rejected children to be adopted by the helots. In this way Ertheurtha attempts the maintenance of high physical standards in their population. From the earliest days of the Ertheurtha citizen, the claim on his life by the state is absolute and strictly enforced.
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Population: 46,923 Power Center: Conventional Alignment: Lawful Neutral Gold Piece Limit: 100,000; Ready Cash: 234,600,000 Humans: 45,846; Halflings: 138; Elves: 358; Dwarves: 111; Others: 470
Population: 6,237 Power Center: Conventional Alignment: Lawful Neutral Gold Piece Limit: 15,000; Ready Cash: 4,672,500 Isolated; Humans: 5,987; Dwarves: 62; Half-Orcs: 124; Others: 64
Population: 3,694 Power Center: Conventional Alignment: Lawful Neutral Gold Piece Limit: 3,000; Ready Cash: 553,500 Isolated; Humans: 3,546; Dwarves: 73; Half-Orcs: 36;Others: 39