Joined: 07 Mar 2008
|Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:45 pm Post subject: Culture Focus: Western Alahbmah
|Western Alahbmah: Religious Reflection
Lay of the Land
A massive series of salt pans and shallow lakes rarely deeper than two feet. The ridges between the features and some pans are covered in thick and vibrant red moss and lichen. Other colours exist, and are visually striking when mixed. The mineral deposits in the frequently dry pans can conceal dangerous, acidic mud pockets, which the natives are familiar with enough to avoid.
The eastern border consists of an abrupt and massive mountain ridge that cuts off access to the rest of Alahbmah, of which none live because of the cataclysmic conditions that continue unabated. The mouth of the one river that breaks through the ridge is struck nearly continuously by lightning.
At 300,000 sq km in size and a population of barely more than a quarter million, it can be literal days before one sees a settlement. Buildings are constructed of mud and mineral sheets, visible for miles because of the flat terrain, built to only accommodate an extended family.
Most settlements are extended families herding several iccu and harvesting edible moss, and can go months between contact with others.
Alignah is the most urban settlement, where eight of its ten thousand residents live in the Palace of Alignah, a literal labyrinth. Formerly the home of the Mad King Nedoh, it was donated as a monastery after his conversion to Celmsim, serving as the home for the August Guru and center for the entire Celm faith.
Subsistence moss-farming and iccu herding are the dominant activities, resulting in a largely self-sustaining population with little need for trade or money. Greater than normal harvests can lead to excess iccu, traded with pilgrims and iccu traders.
As the dominant religion throughout the known world is Celmism, Western Alahbmah’s chief export is religion. Donations and converts divesting themselves of their material fetters from across the nations serve as the primary source of economic activity, including the construction of monasteries for a guru.
Law & Order
In families, the family member with the most monastic experience is generally the final arbiter for disputes except for situations of punishment, which require travel to the nearest to confer with a monk. As Celmism forbids killing, hindering or depriving a sense is the most common form of punishment, other punishments including a period of sensory deprivation for bogies to punish them.
A full Cemlite theocracy, the August Guru nominally holds influence well beyond the borders of Alahbmah. Amongst the lay folk, temporary devotion to monastic study is performed in response to most significant life events; naming, childbirth, engagements, momentous financial events, etc.
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