Lt Murgen?s notes on Khinasi culture: equality

DM Tips: Khinasi culture: equality

This article is an Observation
The contents herein are entirely player made and in no way represent official Birthright history or occurences which are accurate. The characters and events listed are of an independent nature and applied for roleplaying, fictional, speculative, or opinions from a limited playerbase only.

Khinasi » Khinasi culture » Khinasi Culture:Equality

Many outsiders view the rigid division between male and female roles in the family as an indication that women are oppressed in Khinasi society. This is far from the truth, and stems from a lack of understanding about daily life. To the Khinasi, the division is clear cut. Men are heads of the family, but women are heads of the household. A nobleman may find, upon reflection, that he has never set foot within two thirds of his home, and never needs to. Meals are bought, stored, prepared, served, and cleaned up without a word, under his wife?s stern supervision. Laundry and washing is done out of sight and mind. Elsewhere, a newly married man will quickly realize that haggling with a vendor stops only with his wife?s subtle acquiescence. While beauty is prized in brides, mothers will judge character more than beauty for son?s first wife. ?A wife is to her husband as the kettle is to the fire.? Meaning a woman brings purpose and civility to her husband.
Marriage and managing a household is the preferred state for women. Through desire or necessity, however, many women take up professions. Some women take jobs to support their household or husband. Others do so out of a desire to produce works of beauty. Leira is closely associated with her mother, Avani. Some women will pledge their lives to Leira and go unmarried. In some areas, they will place a heart-shaped henna mark upon their forehead to show their devotion. Their labors are based upon the same criteria of artistic merit upon which men are judged. Other women take up the healing arts. This is particularly common when a married man takes up arms. The wife will follow him afield and tend to his injuries.
It is rare that women take up arms, though a holy warrior in service to the Temple is a noticeable exception. Also, several regions have fielded women-only companies of archers. The only professions that custom dictates women to avoid are those that require exposure to excessive heat - such as smithy and glass work, or those exposed to lead (used mainly in paint), as lead is known to be detrimental to infants and children.
Equality extends both directions. While serving coffee at home is the exclusive duty of women, it is boys who serve in the coffeehouses. Tradition dictates that boys who have undergone their Awakening ceremony but do not yet have facial hair serve as coffiers. Geirhou train these boys in the arts of coffee service. The boys serve as waiters and assistants, bringing coffee and pastries, running errands, kibitzing the games, and eavesdropping. A talented coffier with steady hands, fast feet and open ears can make a fine living for himself, earning money and gaining Sayim in the eyes of the patrons. A great number of the nobility?s agents and assistants first impressed their lord as a child in the coffeehouses.
Until recently, Khinasi lands have been relatively free of religious intolerance. Their belief in logic and reason and their understanding of the pantheon of Cerelia make intolerance seem pointless. The gods exist. Theological and philosophical discussion is encouraged. Tolerance and harmony are valued for their ability to foster debate. Most regions do not even ban temples to other gods. These temples merely have to pay an extra tax. Simply put, many regions are too cosmopolitan and educated for religious fanaticism.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. Obviously, those gods who are directly opposed to Avani find little welcome in Khinasi lands. If such followers exist, they tend to meet in secret, hidden locations. Written compilations of these doctrines can be found in a few libraries. They are kept for comparative purposes. The Zikilian Temple of Avani has recently been accused of preaching intolerance of other religions. The official response is that they merely are promoting the superior nature of rational discourse and the utilization of knowledge.
Non-Khinasi who seek employment in Khinasi lands are not forbidden by law. But culture imposes significant barriers that need to be navigated. For example, a bard who wishes to perform in a Brecht tavern would have to negotiate with the owner. That same bard in Ariya would have to find someone to introduce him to the owner, then find which geirhou the owner is allied with, then find someone besides the owner to introduce him to the head of that geirhou. From there, he would have to prove his worth to that head. Then the bard would have to arrange a meeting, at his own cost, between the coffeehouse owner and the geirhou representative, where they would haggle his services. The poor bard would then have to pay the geirhou representative in advance his portion of the expected take. Only then would the bard be able to perform.Some of this may be due to the Khinasi cultural distaste for bards and their notoriously lascivious behavior. Still, other professions face similar difficulties navigating the Khinasi web of culture and relationships.
Non-humans: Khinasi get along exceptionally well with dwarves. Both races strongly prize craftsmanship and discipline. Both races place value on preserving and protecting the family. And to outsiders, both races can seem grim, dour, and generally un-fun. Dwarves see Khinasi metalwork and architecture as nearly their equal, and actually rate Khinasi leatherwork as superior to their own. The goblinoids are disliked by the Khinasi. They are seen as raiders and livestock rustlers. In a few remote areas, some trade might occur between the Khinasi and the more ?civilized? tribes. But they are without Sayim, and the normal rules of decorum do not apply. Gnolls are considered little different than a marauding band of wolves or jackals. They are hunted down whenever they venture into Khinasi lands. The Khinasi have little experience with Orogs. The Lands of the Sun are seldom visited by those creatures who cannot stand sunlight for extended periods of time.

Tags for this Page

Similar Pages

  1. Khinasi Culture:Eloquence
    By BRadmin in forum Main
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 02-05-2009, 02:33 AM
  2. Khinasi culture
    By BRadmin in forum Main
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 02-05-2009, 02:14 AM
  3. Khinasi Culture:Honor
    By AndrewTall in forum Main
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 02-02-2009, 04:32 PM
  4. Khinasi Culture:Grace
    By AndrewTall in forum Main
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 02-02-2009, 04:32 PM


Posting Permissions

Posting Permissions
  • You may not create new articles
  • You may not edit articles
  • You may not protect articles
  • You may not post comments
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your comments
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.