Thursday, August 13, 2020

Worldbuilding Queerness #2

Byzantine Government - Ancient History Encyclopedia

In the multiethnic Velosi Empire it is held that anyone who is willing, irregardless of background, may offer themselves forth and have their identity and personhood stripped away in order to join the ranks of the identity-less Bureaucrat-Soldiers who administer and wage the empire's wars.

To become a Bureaucrat-Soldier is to abandon all vestiges of the former self. No personal items may be kept. Hair is shaved, genitals castrated, tattoos and birthmarks removed with ointments. Lastly the name is ritually written on a note of paper and burned. 

From then on the Bureaucrat-Soldier is known by their rank and number.

Upon completing their twenty year service a Bureaucrat-Soldier is given the choice of either remain onto death or to reentering a civilian life with a small pension and due accolades.

While not officially endorsed, it is a commonly held fact that upon taking up the mantle of gender and identity once more you are not bound to that of your past and may take what gender and life you will.

Viking longhouse | Viking house, Tolkien illustration, Tolkien

Contrary to popular belief, the Lodge Dwellers of the western coasts do not, in fact, ritually consume their spouses after conception. This being a misunderstood and greatly exaggerated version of a traditional marriage ritual wherein which two partners both bloodlet then consume the opposite numbers blood.

Faulty translations and bigotry on the part of early visitors is generally blame for the spread of such nonsense. 

Another such cultural practice greatly misunderstood by foreigners is that of Second Marriage. Among the Lodge Dwellers it is expected that a woman marry a man (and vice versa) and have a child firstly in life, but afterwards may marry and lay as they choose.

It is not required that the previous marriage is terminated in order to proceed with the second however, thusly creating large extended familial relations. 

1 comment:

  1. Indeed!

    Almost any arrangement is possible in a society, as long as it roughly works (as in the society is sustainable - although even then, you could have a group that have adopted practices that are bad for them in the long term - this happens...).

    Why should a fantasy world be a mirror of our own?