Monday, November 23, 2009
Love and Sex in the Known Lands
Okay, so I need to talk about Love and Sex. Eventually, someone will play erotic campaigns in the Known Lands, with all the fun and consequences that can result. So, lets take a look at how Love and Sex works in the Known Lands.
Humans, with their own creation myths, sex is often reinforced as a sin (in the case of both the Religion of the Divine Light and Christianity), something to pursue for pleasure (Worship of the Ancients), or something good and used to seek enlightenment and creativity (in the case of Tantric cults and philosophies). On the whole, while humans run the gamut of sexual pursuits: heterosexuality, homosexuality, masturbation, monogamy, single-partner, casual, recreational, and more . . . the people of Caithness is a closed, restrictive society when it comes to sex. Nudity is not something to be seen, although there are no laws against public nudity. Taboos are believed according to each religion: Generally the populace of Caithness looks down on all the cultural taboos except perhaps Masturbation. Incest with extended family is an exception: in a Medieval World, 1st and 2nd cousins may find each other attractive and may even marry.
Marriage in Caithness is "Till DEATH DO YOU PART!" or "For time and all eternity." Marriage is mostly monogamous, although its a shame as to look at the statistics there are often two women for every man. Polygamous weddings and group weddings are frowned up on by the Government. In some cities its down right unlawful to take more than one wife at a time. Other communities, especially places isolated from others, polygamous and group marriages may be performed. In very few human communities, the Pagan element may do away with marriage altogether.
However, in the great cities of Caithness, Prostitution -- or the more colloquial term "pillowing" carries on like no one cares. The Crown frowns on prostitution, but it's nigh unenforceable. Every once in a while, the Crown rounds up prostitutes who are not apart of the Courtesan's Guild or the Prostitution Guilds and makes examples of them. Courtesans are protected by the Law, and Prostitution Guilds depend on bribing the local shire reeve to continue operating without molestation.
The Dark Elves, or the peasantry of the High Elves, have been under control of the High Elves that they are repressed sexually. Dark Elves (characterized by darkened skin), are clothies -- worse than humans. Nudity in public to the Dark Elf is a grave sin. A dark elf would report to a High Elf on her own kin if she is naked in public. This repression by High Elves have created extremes.
Dark Elves are big on Sadomaschochism, Bondage, and Master/slave scenarios. Homosexuality is rife in dark elf society, a dark elf homosexual is more overtly homosexual than a human would be. Put a dark elf homosexual in a sea of men, and the dark elf would be propositioning everyone to satisfy his lust and desire not only to see male genitalia but to play with them as well.
Dark elves commonly perform sex clothed, getting a dark elf naked is really hard to do, as some dark elves have been known to go catatonic unless in front of her husband or his wife. Dark Elves believe that nudity is strictly between man and wife. Clothes are worn to the extreme, and they are really publically repressed. However, when a dark elf maid is often seen on the slave auction block, such exotic beauty is often bid upon by anyone. As a slave, a dark elf maid can release her inhibitions and become the mythical highly desirable sex slave to her Master; who ever that may be: human, elf, orc, or otherwise. However, some cool heads prevail and some dark elves do fall in love.
But due to dark elf religion, which itself is extreme, being affected and influenced by the High Elves as well as depraved dark elves seeking sexual release in the worship of he Spider Queen; the indoctrination exists. The dark elves, sexually repressed, see little hope except in the Tantric religions of the humans. A few dark elves studied these religions, lived them, and experienced visions of a goddess of the moon which teaches freedom of expression. Dark elves who participate in this religion participate in a mystery cult of tantric sex, passion, and freedom.
The High Elves
The Descendants of Pelagasir, the High Elves, control most other Elven societies in Tir'Tangier -- including the grey elves (which were the Fair Elves the Pelagasiri conquered), and the dark elves (which they conquered as well). The High Elves and their polytheism conquered most of the fair elven territories and used repressive sex doctrines and religion to cow the other elves. However, the High Elves themselves are very open about sex in their society. Tir'Tangier is the only nation in the Caithness Isles where sex is practiced openly by the aristocracy.
Nudity or near nudity is common among High Elves, after all it is their right to be nude. It's a High Elf's privilege to be naked in nature. It's the high elf's right to mate with whom they please, after all they are the Elven Aristocracy. Marriage among High Elves happen to be open, casual relationships. This often means that marriage is a casual affair where the couple often live together. Sex is casual among the high elves as love is non-existent.
Every once in a while, the high elves participate in drunken debauched orgies or celebrations of fertility in order to give every elf a chance to mate and feel close to someone. These are often held in isolation away from the eyes of their peers. Fertility nights are the rites of spring where the elven goddess of Love is celebrated and sex is joyful. The ugly and the unfortunate in love are always invited and are given a chance to have sex and to feel loved intimately. The debauchery orgy takes place around harvest time where sex can be explored in the areas of the taboo. Yes, the High Elves, its seems don't have a care in the world. But everything changed when the Massalians took over the sacred isle of Anglesey.
When the Massalian Elves conquered the sacred isle of Anglesey, the island sacred to druids of all races and under jurisdiction of the High Elves of Tir'Tangier, it brought a wake up call as the sacred land was violated.
The Massalian Elves are a driven people, they have lost their brothers, their ancestors in the Pelagasiri elven invasions of their ancient homeland. They lost Massalia to an invasion of trolls and ogres when they were driven out of Occitannia. They lost their capital, the ancient City of the Sun; to the ravages of ogres, trolls, and hobgoblins. Driven from their home, they conquered Anglesey with perfection.
The Massalians, as they are much more warlike, surprisingly treat sex as a natural affair. The Massalian culture is patriarchal and dominated by the rougher sex. When they founded Caer Massalia they did something that they vowed that they never do. They enslaved the High Elves. The Massalians Elves are slowly creating a new race of elves from their slaves, recreating the mythical fair elves.
The High Elves of New Massalia (Anglesey) are never allowed to wear clothes. They are nude all the time. The humans of New Massalia are also never allowed to wear clothes, since they are also a conquered people. Only the massalian elves are allowed to wear clothes as they were the conquerors.
Massalian Elves are mostly heterosexual, and take mates for life. Sex for them is a way to experience the higher joy of life, and many use human tantric techniques in their lovemaking. Many are faithful to their wives, since they must preserve the species. Although there are some Massalian elves that take slaves for "the pleasure of themselves and the health of their bodies."
Male slaves are often used for manual labor: stonecutting, quarrying, and heavy construction work. But the rare beautiful male slave may be taken as a pleasure slave by either Massalian elven women or men. Female slaves have it easier. They are reserved for menial work, or pleasure. Sometimes, however, love may spark between an elven man and his elven or human slave, and love slavery is often the result.
Often, offspring may issue forth from a slave. This offspring is usually considered legitimate or apart of the family as a Massalian. Whether they are half-man or full elf. Some are also regarded as bastards to be enslaved by the more evil Massalian elves. The most depraved use their slave-offspring in heinous rituals. Such people, when discovered, are put to death to remove the evil from Massalia.
Homosexuality is accepted as long as it is behind closed doors and, and the homosexual Massalian elf does his duty to sire offspring. Also Homosexual elves are expected to form long lasting relationships with their wives and their lovers, as long as they don't make their homosexuality a political means to an end. Annoyingly promiscuous homosexual Massalian elves may face execution by stoning, as open promiscuity is considered a capital sin. Homosexual Massalian elves who make their sexuality or marriage with their partner a political means to an end are often banished from New Massalia to live among the High Elves of Tir'Tangier. This also means prostitution is also a capital sin to the Massalians.
Bestiality and zoophilia is considered to be a grave sin, and often the bestial Massalian elf may see his beloved animal summarily executed in front of his eyes. Then the offender may be drawn and quartered in order to remove the evil from Massalia. Masturbation is frowned on, but seen as a necessary substitute. Necrophiliacs are given a chance to change their ways, if not they are banished from elven society. Sex with people outside Massalian culture is definitely frowned upon, and children produced from intercultural relationships can cause trouble. And Rape is potentially harmful. The offender may be forced to marry the person they raped if she were a virgin, if not then he is killed as rape of a married person is a capital offense.
Despite this: Massalian Culture accepts multiple partners, polygamy, and polyandry. Group marriage is also accepted as long as the love between all partners is proven true. Although Massalian religion is male dominated, sex is seen as a way to reinforce and strengthen relationships among those loved. Lovers are encouraged to have sex, since strengthened intimate relationships lead to a healthier society. Even sex is allowed among close relations, as long as children aren't produced.
Love is a very important emotion to Massalian elven culture. Still, couples where the love is unrequited on one side can happen. It's tolerated, after all you can't force anyone to love, no matter how terrible the case is. However, divorce is always a possibility. Massalians allow divorce if Adultery is the result of one or the other partner, but in that case the court often sides with the Man.
A Massalian elven woman may only sue for Divorce if she can prove that her husband is neglecting his duties to his children and his own wife. If it can be proved, then the writ of divorcement is granted. A man may sue for divorce from his wife often on the first case of discovered adultery, since the woman has proven not to love him. Predatory adulterers, who prey on weak family bonds face banishment or if their adulterous affair destroys a family, may face death if they proved that they wrecked the life of an entire family.
There are no alimony payments made by an adulterer, but he or she may find themselves excommunicated. Also, adulterers are treated worse than thieves, and an adulterous noble may be stripped of his title, his lands, his arms, and his family name.
Unlike the high elves, the Massalian elves do not see love as a game, or a casual pastime. Love is the lifeblood that pumps through Massalian culture, making it alive and giving the people it's driving force. Love is the most important part of Massalian culture -- even though the Massalian elves are quick to make war and circumcise their males at twelve years of age.
Among all the races, the orcs strive to build civilization from a disjuncted, and non-unified tribal system. One of the revolutions made by the War Chief Anghâsh Greywulf is the reformation of the orc tribes into clans. Every clan has a say in the councils of the new Orcish nation.
The orcs, with their strong myths of their gods being birthed from the cosmic egg, marrying, and then making love to produce their race shows how they accept sex. Orcish sexuality isn't the barbarous, bestial thing that the Clan of the Battered Axe often display. It can be rough, or it can be gentle. It can be sublime, or it can be casual. Sex is an accepted part of orc life and culture.
Since civilizing and rediscovering their Shamanistic roots, the totem spirits of each clan have returned to the orcs to guide them in their Shamanistic ways. The orcs have mostly put away their bestial "slam, bam thank you ma'am!" way of sex. The liberation of women by the War Chief Anghâsh Greywulf also changed their culture in ways that surprise the most jaded human. In an effort to civilize his people, Anghâsh Greywulf removed the chattel slavery state of orc women and reinstituted marriage among all the clans.
Women now demand the right to be pleased by their men, and the right to orgasm; which has been denied them for so long during the time the tribes worshiped demons and demon gods. Reconnected with nature, the orcs have reconnected with love and sex.
Love has long been a foreign emotion. During the dark time, an orc who felt love for another was seen as weak and brutally sexing with your chosen mate was seen as a strength and the measure of a warrior. Overpowering a woman, orc or otherwise, was seen as a rite of passage for the young orc during the dark times. Especially if the union resulted in a child (which usually happened among humans; which made them a favorable race to raid and rape). Talûn-karkû, who's name is ironically the orc name for semen, is the present War Chief. He instituted the value of Honor among the orcs and named his clan -- the Silverfangs, to be the paragons of Honor.
From now on, Honor is what guides the young orc's life. Honor in Battle, Honor in Life, and Honor in Love and Sex. Honor is Integrity to the young orc. Among the orcs, Chastity before marriage is considered part of integrity and Honor. Mating before one can lawfully take a mate is considered to be a grave dishonor since it makes the old guard remember the days when brutality and rape was acceptable and even encouraged.
An orc who has been dishonored in this way is shunned by his clan and can only redeem himself by proving his honor by marrying the girl he dishonored. Then he and his mate are expected to stay together to maintain the honor of himself and the girl.
Adultery is considered a dishonor. The cuckolded husband has a right to call a trial by Council, while the accused may feel that his Honor is slighted and has a right to call a Trial by Combat. If a trial of Council is called, the dishonored orc has to pay in recompense in kind. Although, if a Trial by Combat is demanded by the accused, he must redeem himself to First Blood. If the accuser draws first blood, then the accused is guilty. If the accused draws first blood, then he is considered innocent. Aside from that . . .
The Orc Nation is still new, and is still trying to find its true morals and refine its culture. As the clans continue to exist as united, a unified set of values towards sex may come to life. However, each Clan has its own way of viewing sexuality and has its own taboos.
The Silverfangs view adultery, homosexuality, sodomy, multiple partners, sex toys, prostitution, transvestitism, bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, rape, and unmarried sex to be taboos against personal, family, and Clan honor. Marriage, chastity, and fidelity are considered to be honorable since the Wolf share these traits.
The Desert Vipers
The Desert Vipers, since they have their roots deep in the desert, are strongly patriarchal. A woman desert viper have a lot to prove to her peers that she is actually considered equal. Despite this, male homosexuality is not considered to be honorable, but is considered to be acceptable among the desert vipers. In fact, initiation rites are often had among young male vipers which they are "tutored" by older male vipers in the fraternity. Back when the clan was a desert raiding tribe, this served to build comraderie among the troops. Among female desert vipers, lesbianism is considered an aberration. However, young female desert viper orcs, in order to show that they are the equals of men; have their own "tutoring" rites among the sorority.
Other than that, Marriage is considered to be honorable within the clan, as along as the homosexual relationship stopped altogether.
The Clan of the Battered Axe
The Clan of the Battered Axe is the only orc clan where homosexuality is openly encouraged. Homosexuality is considered honorable among the males of the Clan of the Battered Axe. This is meant to create comraderie among the troops as the Clan of the Battered Axe is the only clan that raids. There is even a special unit of Battered Axe warriors and barbarians called the Brothers of the Bear where everyone in the unit is openly homosexual. Although the bear isn't homosexual in and of itself, the lifestyle somehow encourages ferocity.
Bestiality is considered to be a dishonor in the Clan of the Battered Axe, and so is polygamy. Marriage is seen as a way to continue the race or the clan, and is often regarded as a simple civil contract rather than something spiritually binding.
The Clan of the Black Talons
The Clan of the Black Talons regard adultery, male homosexuality, sodomy, incest, birth control, promiscuity, and sadomasochism to be dishonorable. Lesbianism is accepted, since the Clan of the Black Talons are strangely matriarchal. Bestiality is frowned upon, and open bestiality is regarded as dishonorable; however hunters among the Black Talons have been known to practice it.
The Brown Elk Clan
The combination of two tribes: the Elk and the Impala, the Brown Elk clan regard marriage as honorable, but attach a dishonorable taboo to almost everything except Masturbation, sexual positions, and bestiality. But only in a special way. Every spring, the Brown Elk clan would practice a fertility festival where a virgin must mate with one of the livestock in order to represent the Clan's binding and relationship with the land. The practice was had among the Impala tribe in the ancient days to show the tribe's connection to their totem. In this case, an impala was mated with the Shaman in order to ensure that the link between tribe and totem wasn't broken.
The Clan of the Flaming Sword
The clan of warlocks, and their Shadowy Ways, keep their attitudes of sex: what ever they are, secret. Everything about sex is secret to the Clan. Some whisper of sex with demons, others whisper of sadomasochism, homosexuality, and strange tastes within the clan. But among the Clan of the Flaming Sword, a clansman and clanswoman is expected to keep their sexual attitudes and relations behind closed doors.