Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Brighthold

The vast majority of political, financial, and social positions lies with women in the highly militarized Sawan country Brighthold, weapons-related professions being closed to men. So, men stay at home during their wifes' long war tours, and take care of the large families and fort-like homes.
Brighthold has the world's largest and best-led army, and keeps the many bickering tribes and nations around in order. Their heroines are known far and wide, their skills undisputed and admired, their honour unquestionable. At home, Brightholders enjoy the simple life, social gatherings with bards, and their families. The Crowned is chosen by the Nobles' Assembly, and has never yet been cruel or unskilled.
"We just left the west, and we have to go back already and settle down the neighbours we just defended? Why can't the world stay saved for a day or two?"
— Unedirokar, soldier
Although Brighthold lies in the south, as a plateau it is windy and rather cool in temperature.
The Brighthold wear consists of leathers and pelts, exquisitely worked and adorned with animal tails, rims, pearlwork, and embroidery; woven fabrics are rare and expensive. The notable "underwear" is a leather suit covered with the typical, irregular metal plates. Brightholder civilians are proverbially "better armoured than other armies' skirmishers". Men's and women's clothing differs only slightly in elaboration and practicality.
"Ah, whenever my wife is home she disrupts our routines, leaves messes, and frightens the children with her challenges and loud behaviour. Still, we love her; I wish she'd stay longer so we could have another child - but alas, some tribe in the north is sure to rattle their spears and she'll leave sooner than we think."
— Halakamiron, husband
Artists' notes
I can't remember how Brighthold ("Lichtfeste") became a matriarchy, but it stuck and now I have all kinds of plot lines around it. It's not a feminist statement, though, I believe the only way to live in peace is if we agree genders aren't different. Brighthold was one of the earliest and because of its extremes most notable countries I invented; the costume is inspired by the Native Americans' and always fun to come up with.

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