Thannist Society: Similar in fashion to the Sadiri Empire (perhaps a carry-over from Balseetha’s background) there are two social classes, that of the wealthy and the priests and that of the poor. The Kingship of Thane, although large and rivaling even the Sadiri Empire in power, is a corrupt and depressive place. When Balseetha gained power, she instituted many laws that would increase her authority and wealth. These rules have been manipulated by her descendents and the priests to be even harsher than before. Here the rules are stipulated.
- All Thannists must tithe twenty percent of their incomes.
- A magistrate controls each town or city. However, the town or city’s High Priest has total control is he so chooses.
- Only men are permitted to work. Conversely, unless unavoidable (as with peasants), a man must support his wife and family.
- Magic is only permitted to be used by a descendent of Thane (official certification from the King required).
- The Kingship may only be held by a descendent of Thane.
Additionally, there are quite a few moral laws which to be followed to ascend into heaven.
- One must only believe in Thannism; all other religions are corrupt and wicked.
- One must abstain from drugs, alcohol and lavish foods (except at religious banquets).
- Sex is only permitted with one’s partner (divorce and second-marryings are forbidden).
- Art and ornamentation are forbidden (except in churches).
- Games and music (except for religious reasons) are forbidden.
- One must not act to the detriment of other Thannists or Thannism.
- One must ignore the beliefs of the other religions and speak curtly when addressing non-Thannists (hedons).
- Unless somehow unable, all men must work as hard as possible to support themselves, their families, and their community.
- One must unquestioningly obey all priests.
Attitude (peasant): The life of the Thannist peasant is a dull monotony of service, prayer and asceticism. However, despite what one might think, this is all done willingly, without a trace of hesitation or reluctance. This is because of their belief that it is the only way to live right. They believe that if they were to behave like others in the slightest, it would ruin their prospect for a continued afterlife.
Grown man: A harsh, demanding life, the grown man works twelve hours a day in the field (or at the forge, or shop, etc.), starting at dawn. Then, for two hours, they are free to work around their house or spend time with their families followed by two hours of sacrament at the church. Finally, two hours for supper and downtime before sleep.
Grown woman: Although not required to, the grown woman often spends several hours a day helping her husband (Thannist females leave home only when married). Other than that, she does tasks around the houses such as sewing and food preparation, rears her children, and runs errands. In the evening, she then attends sacrament at the church followed by some downtime before sleep.
Adolescent: The Thannist adolescent spends a good deal of their time helping their parents (in the man and woman’s roles respective to their own sex). Outside of that, they attend sacrament and apprentice at the job they wish to do when they are grown.
Children and infants: The very young of Thannist communities spend most of their time in the home with their mothers. Occasionally helping with chores around the house, the children often disobey the rules of their culture by playing together on the outskirts of their villages. This is severely punished when found out about but the children do it nonetheless.
Elderly: By the time one reaches the golden years, their service to the community is done and they are free to do, as they want. Often, due to the strictness of Thannist life, they simply lounge around, occasionally assisting their younger relatives in their duties.
Attitude (gentry): The gentry of the Kingship of Thane, are, for the most part, corrupt. Their wealth and prestige excuse them from the ethical rules of Thannism. By buying atonement from the priests, the gentry believe they are ensured a place in the afterlife, no matter their actions in the current one.
A Note on Cities: Despite the puritinism of Thannist life, the religion cannot suppress human nature, at least when it comes to large cities. Vice and crime, although not in extreme abundance, do exist, along with all the other things outlawed by Thannist law. For this reason, the rural dwellers are encouraged to stay in their small towns lest they witness the actuality of their dear Kingship.
The Kingship: Four linked nations united under the rule of one king (who is based in the city Barentry in Norfield), the Kingship of Thane rivals even the Sadiri Empire in power. Although they all owe allegiance to the King, each Sovereign is basically free to run their countries as they choose. However, this is only an empty façade, for the priests do the actual ruling. Most of the time, this is only through advising but, should they feel it necessary, the priests may take complete control.
The Kingship of Thane is completely autonomous. They have no trade relations with any other peoples and are at a state of perpetual (cold) war with all other nations. The only time this war grows violent is occasionally with East Sadir and a few Freeland nations.
The Church: Headed by the Pontifex in Barentry, the Thannist Church is a strict hierarchy descending all the way down to the individual vicars of each village. Next in line are the four archbishops, one each for Bardon, Norfield, Corsania and Talland. Following are the bishops for each of the separate dioceses (of which there are seventeen). Finally, there are the town-priests, of which there is at least one for each village. Although officially inactive in matters of state, the Church completely controls (whether directly or indirectly) every aspect of the Kingship, no one is above their authority.
Despite the puritinism of Thannist life, the cities tend to churn out less than favourable members of society. From cutthroats to thugs to sorcerers, the cities are home to them all. Some of these characters are noble, standing up to the oppression and objectification of the people, but they are few and far between. By far the majority are down-on-their-luck individuals trying to survive, often by taking from others who are trying to survive as well. Few dare trifle with the Kingship directly, for the priests and gentry alike are guarded heavily and to do so would only secure their head on the chopping block. Outside of the cities, few have either the desire or the option of living as an adventurer. When one does arise, he is bound to have a sordid past (at least in the eyes of other Thannists).
A Note on Women in the Kingship: Because of the restrictions placed upon the fairer sex, women adventurers in the Kingship are extremely rare. When they do emerge however, they are often spurned on by their subjection to become champions of the people or to terrorize them in previously unheard of ways.
For the most part thugs and highwaymen, fighters in the Kingship may also find their way into the military. The priests are always waging war on some country or another and there is always need for men willing to take out their aggressions in destructive manners.
Paladins (The Order of the Blade):
From the moment of a child’s birth, all priests can detect the spark of magic within them. Their training allows them to instantly discern whether the child is an asset to their society. In this case, when the spark is strong enough, the baby is whisked away to a monastery whereupon their gifts are channeled in the appropriate ways. These children are raised to defend the Kingship and its beliefs in one of two professions depending on their inclination, either the Order of the Blade or the Order of the Scroll (mages).
Those who fall into the Order of the Blade become some of the most skilled swordsman on Rhischal, utilizing their gifts to give them uncanny accuracy and zeal. The shear magnitude of these individuals manifests itself in an aura of awe and power, causing those faithful to fall on their knees in supplication and those not to fear for their lives. Together, these skills help the knights to organize and command the masses and lead them in their fight of righteousness.
The Order of the Blade is so feared that they are known across all nations. Many believe them to have lost their souls in their rise to power. Most Thannist believe the opposite to be true; that their faith has given a soul of utmost purity unto them.
Mages (Order of the Scroll):
For those gifted children whom prefer the cold, hard science of magic, the Order of the Scroll provides them with the training they need. From their eighth year on, they live, eat and breathe knowledge, forcing their minds to absorb all they can.
Because they are far rarer than the Order of the Blade the priesthood has bestowed upon them a special privilege. They are granted descendence from Thane, a baseless, bureaucratic act that permits them to wield magic. Of course their identity is unknown (like those of the Order of the Blade) so this proves to be little more than the King granting certification (the bloodline has been tampered with in such away for centuries so now no one knows who is actually descended from Thane and who is simply granted certification).
The rulers of the Kingship, the religious connotation in their positions is little more than a formality. Long ago have their spiritual powers abandoned them so now they rectify it by securing as much worldly power as possible. All members of society must answer to them, from the lowliest child up to the King himself. It was them whom Balseetha first made hers and it was them who formed the two Orders with which they hold their position.
Their strict hierarchy is held together and financed by the wealth and labor of the people who are raised from birth to respect (and fear) them for they hold the keys to heaven.
Eking out a living through the sweat of others, the rogues of the Kingship are persistently desperate. Because so much of the money finds its way directly to the priests and nobility they have little choice but to prey upon their own kind. Together with bands of thugs, they often form small, lawless groups that raid isolated villages where the priests’ control isn’t so tight. More rarely, they keep to themselves and travel from town to town stealing what they can. Neither life is pleasant. Perpetually hungry and hunted, the rogues of the Kingship occasionally flee from their nation into the Freelands or East Sadir, an act that is rarely successful due to the heavy guarding of the Kingship’s borders.
For the most part small baronies and savage wilderness, the Freelands have little in common with the other nations. The cost of their independence has been much famine, no organization and little hope for change. These conditions make adventurers from the Freelands the most common and nondescript of all territories.