Thebia (Ilarion Environment)
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While ruled by those with the most wealth the laws of Thebia are upheld by the Kenbet, a council of priests and government offices that forgo a wage. They are typically elders that have turned all property and wealth over to their heirs and dedicate their lives to upholding the law. At least one member of the Kenbet must sign off on a major contract for it to be legally binding. As the Kenbet do not and cannot have wealth of any kind they cannot be bought or bribed. They are housed in simple but comfortable accommodations in temples and government buildings.
All things are a matter of contract in Thebia and coin is king. No contract lasts longer than five years. There are no prisons in Thebia; fines, forced labor, and death are the only punishments.
(The Giff Necropolis)
- 1 Geography
- 2 Cities
- 3 Government
- 4 Law
- 5 History
- 6 Society
- 6.1 Mannerisms and Customs
- 6.2 Gender, Marriage and Family
- 6.3 Clothing
- 6.4 Architecture
- 6.5 Art
- 6.6 Entertainment
- 6.7 Festivals
- 6.8 Illness, Death and the Pyre
- 6.9 Education
- 6.10 Cuisine
- 6.11 Breakfast
- 6.12 Lunch
- 6.13 Dinner
- 6.14 Desserts
- 6.15 Snacks
- 6.16 Beverages
- 7 Commerce
- 8 Traits
- 9 Gear
The coastal region
The coastal region is the most populous.
The rolling sands
are home to desert nomads.
Rocky mountains make up the innermost region of Thebia. They are a harsh and foreboding environment with little vegetation. Herdsmen can be found in the foothills, and mines in the mountains.
Nearly all cities in Thebia have a high wall to protect against sandstorms. There is no regulation for the width of streets, so alleys may be quite narrow.
Baghal (bah GUL) is like a proverbial Geode: the outside is dull, unassuming, and bland, the inside, however, is a glittering array of jewels. Overlooking this mining town is a rock formation the resembles a mule. The humble animal is a symbol of the city.
Situated in the foothills, Jastafar (Jos tah far) is the trade hub for Thebia's over land routes. The main streets are wide and straight and lined with shops, stalls and all manner of street-vendors. The side streets are a jumble of twisting allies and winding lanes that often double back on themselves.
The only buildings that are more that two stories in this sprawling metropolis are the temples and court houses. Khanufasa (KHAN oo fah saw) was built around a central oasis. Many of its buildings are interconnected.
Well known for its gaming halls and casinos, Nahas Nahr (nah HOS nar) stretches along the banks of the river of the same name. The river is rich in copper.
Built at a crossroads, Tijara (tee JAR ah) is a trade city know more for its large-scale deals than it's open markets. More practical displays of wealth and sound investments are preferred to the oppulence of other cities.
Yafir (YA fear) is the capital of Thebia and the largest port in the world. Bustling, busy, and boisterous, this city is not for the faint of heart. The uncaring crush of travelers and traders flows through the city night and day. Yafir is home to a sprawling marketplace. Even so, street vendors will set up shop anywhere they can to hawk their wears.
While private armies may bolster numbers in times of emergency Thebia keeps a small standing army (45,000 infantry and cavalry) and a navy of equal size.
Crimes and Punishments
Slavery is legal, every Thebian knows their value. Slaves are allowed to earn their own wealth. Slavery is in Thebia is more akin to indentured servitude, and like all contracts can last no longer than five years at a time.
Mannerisms and Customs
Gender, Marriage and Family
Marriage is a matter of sealing financial deals, these contracts detail any obligation to produce offspring, the length of the marriage (up to five years) and any other considerations.
A child is considered helpless for the first five years of its life. It's parents, whether together or only one of them (typically the mother who is the default owner of the child), are responsible for its care and education. After the completion of the fifth year of life, the child can be set to work repaying the debt accrued at the beginning of its life. At the age of ten, the child is awarded ownership of themselves. Many families set their children up with an apprenticeship as they are not fully considered to be adults for five more years.
Sun-baked mud brick and stone, usually limestone, sandstone, or granite are the predominant building materials. Most buildings are strong, low structures with a rectangular ground-plan and sloping walls. Outside the buildings are solid and fortified, carved with murals and painted brightly, inside they are airy and opulent, full of columns and arches. Statues and monuments are often built into public buildings.
Illness, Death and the Pyre
Sickness and Medicine
Herbs and spices:
Dressings and sauces:
Meat: Beef and mutton are the most used, with chicken or rabbit occasionally used. Other poultry is used in some regions, and fish is used in coastal areas. Meat is expensive and no part of the animal is wasted. Liver and brains are commonly served fried with roasted vegetables. Most commonly meats are used in soups and stews, shredded and served with rice or pita bread, skewered and grilled over charcoal, or ground and formed into balls. Falafel is a common substitute for meat.
Dairy products: Dairy products are widely used, especially yogurt, butter, cream and white cheese.
Herbs and spices: Some of the included herbs and spices are anise, bay laurel, caraway, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, mace, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, peppermint, saffron, sage, sesame seeds, turmeric, and verbena.
Grains: Rice is the staple and is used for most dishes; wheat is the main source for bread. A hearty, thick, glutenous pita bread forms the backbone of the cuisine. Bread is consumed at almost all meals, flatbreads are the most common.
Legumes: Thebian dishes depend heavily on legumes. Fava beans are used extensively, as well as a wide verity of lentils, chickpeas, green peas, white beans, and brown beans.
Vegetables:Thebian cuisine favors vegetables such as artichokes, beets, carrots, eggplant, garlic, okra, onions, turnips, and zucchini. Vegetables are boiled, stewed, grilled, stuffed, or cooked with meat and rice.
Fruits: Fruits such as pomegranate, dates, figs, citruses, cantaloupe, melons, grapes, and peaches are favored.
Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are often included in dishes or eaten as snacks.
Greens: Among the green leaf vegetables, many varieties of cabbage, spinach, and chard are widely used. Grape leaves are also used frequently.
Dressings and sauces: A variety of stocks and broths are used to add flavor to various dishes as is the juice of lemons, limes, and oranges. The most popular sauces include various combinations of citrus juice, parsley or garlic, as well as tahini (sesame paste). Thinned yogurt is often seasoned with mint, onion, or garlic, and served as a sauce with various dishes. Chili peppers are used occasionally, as a separate sauce or as a pickle.
Thebians either eat with a fork, knife, and spoon or with their hands using bread as a utensil depending on the dish served.
The working class generally eat a heavier morning meal, such as lentil soup, to get them through the day. For the wealthy, breakfast is often a quick meal, consisting of fried bread, butter, white cheese, whipped heavy cream (often sweetened with honey), and a variety of fruit jams and spreads with strong black tea or coffee. Some also consume hummus and falafel with pita bread. Pastries, either sweet or savory, can be eaten on the go and are favored by those with an early schedule.
Cafés are common in cities and often serve a midmorning snack consisting of sliced fruit, eggs, and a flatbread topped with grilled vegetables.
Lunch is generally eaten an hour or two after midday. Many in the working-class skip this meal. Salad, served in a separate bowl, typically accompanies a platter of meat, rice, lentils, bread, and cooked vegetables. Lunch is a communal meal and those partaking serve themselves from the platter. Tea is
The evening meal is generally a large selection of dishes with small helpings of varied foods brought to the table as a progression of tastes and textures. The meal begins with tahini, garlic dip, hummus, tzatziki, and, in coastal cities, fish roe dip served with chunks of fresh bread and a bowl of mixed salad. The working class will then have a selection of pickled root vegetables, while the wealthy enjoy a full pickle course with pickled quail eggs, pickled cauliflower, pickled capers, and pickled peppers. Salads, stuffed vegetables, dumplings filled with meat, scrambled eggs - cooked with green pepper, onion, and garlic - and other side dishes are brought out next. The meal continues with a meat course, or legumes and lentils if poor. Meat courses may consist of a whole sheep's head, grilled meats, or a stew served over rice. A cup of sweet mint tea usually ends the evening meal.
Desserts are often eaten an hour or two after the evening meal. The most common ingredients in desserts are honey, saffron, nuts, dairy, rice, and wheat flour. Halcyonian baklava is very popular, although it is made with whatever nuts are on hand, rather than just walnuts. Fried dough, soaked in syrup and rolled in crushed nuts or seeds, is popular among children, as are rice and milk puddings. Adults often indulge in wine and spirits with dessert.
Most snacks are sweet but mixed pickles, fresh herbs and raw vegetables, and deep fried foods are also popular.
Hot beverages are served more than cold, tea on top of the list. A thinned yogurt drink is the most common cold beverage, fruit juices, carrot juice, and diluted syrups are also common. Coffee, black tea, mint tea, millet wine, and Sahlep (a tea made from wild orchid roots) are the most common hot drinks. Cinnamon can be added to any hot drink, and it is not uncommon to add salt to cold drinks.
Imports: Primarily raw materials and products sought as luxury items in high society. Horses, cattle, small livestock, cedar wood, silver, copper, and ivory.
Exports: stone, pottery vases, linen, papyrus, gold vessels, ox hides, ropes, lentils, and dried fish.
Currency: Weight is the unit of measure for Thebian currency. Weather coin, ingot, wire, or ring the metal is bullion and valued as such. Foreign currency is accepted freely if bullion but must be exchanged if not. The rates are generally 10% for Aylean coins.
Taxation: There is a 10% tax on the harvests of irrigated land and 20% tax on harvest from rain-watered land, 10% tax on all imported goods, 5% tax on all mines, and 2% tax on all sales.
The following are regional traits for Thebia:
The following is a list of gear commonly available in Thebia:
Weapons: Axe, Cutting (1d8 x3 Slashing 7 lb. Sunder), Axe, Fan (1d8 x3 Slashing 10 lbs. Brace Reach), Bow, Long, Bow, Short, Dagger, Khopesh, Mace, Heavy, Mace, Light, Scimitar, Short Sword, Sling, Spear, Long, Spear, Short, Throw Stick (1d4 x2 19-20 Bludgeoning 10 foot range 1 lb.).
Armor: Shield, Tower, Scale Shirt (+3 AC, +4 max Dex, Armor Check Penalty -1, Arcane Spell Failure Chance 15%, 18 lbs., medium), Scale Mail, Greaves (See Piecemeal Armor), Leather Band Shirt (+1 AC, +8 max Dex, Armor Check Penalty 0, Arcane Spell Failure Chance 10%, 10 lbs., light), Padded Armor
Adventure Gear: Backpack, Bedroll, Canteen, Cloak, Felt, Cooking Kit, Flint and Steel, Mess Kit, Shovel, Soap, Trail Rations, Waterskin