Lt Murgen?s notes on Khinasi Culture: Honor
|This article is an Observation|
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Khinasi » Khinasi culture » Khinasi Culture:Honor
Honor is a tangible commodity in Khinasi society. While a person?s Sayim is an internal feeling of self worth, actions which enhance or damage Sayim are well known. Being honorable, never breaking an oath, speaking plainly and without deception, holding confidences, all of these enhance Sayim. It allows for a degree of trust in the word of individual that is not seen in other realms. It impacts several areas.
Each region of Khinasi lands mints their own currency. However, the Geirhou clans involved in minting coins have strict standards for quality and consistency. These Geirhou are some of the most extensive and exclusive in Khinasi lands, and their ties cross borders and serve both sides of rival regions. They consider the Ariyan silver Shetel as the standard reference coin in terms of purity and ?value?. Outsiders need to note that in several regions, most notably Aftane, commoners are prohibited from using or possessing minted gold or platinum. It is reserved for transactions between the Red Kings and their retainers.
Similarly, the Geirhou involved in jewelry and gem cutting maintain cordial ties across regions. The accepted process is that gems are sold in small velvet pouches. Accompanying each stone is a small symbol indicating its value, and marked with the insignia of the family that did the evaluation. The standing of each family will influence how close to their assessed value someone is willing to pay for the gem.
There is no formal banking system in Khinasi lands. Instead, when people have extra monies, they will select merchants they purchase from and give the money to them. In exchange, the merchant with issue them an Egibi, the Egibi is a small writ of paper that tells how much the individual gave to the merchant, and its expected value. Merchants understand the value of coins in hand, and will credit a small increase to the person who honors them with their trust.
The nobility are the movers and shakers of Khinasi society. They keep accounts and fund projects. It is the nobility who own the land and lease it to orchard or to the cattle barons, who pay to have canals dug, aquifers built, and who collect the tolls and headcount tributes. The nobility are the money managers of their Geirhou, trading in Egibi and verbal agreements. Their word is considered binding. Saying ?I will give you the fruits of my date-palms at Pesht when it matures for 10 fold head of cattle now? is binding. Documenting it on paper is simply a formality. This puts the leadership of the Khinasi realms in a unique position. They may not be the wealthiest noble house. They may not even own a large portion of their lands. But uniformly they are considered to be the most honorable, most trustworthy, and most wise. Their Sayim is more important than their wealth.
Having a few ales or beers at the local tavern has been replaced by coffee at the coffeehouse in Khinasi society. Both share similar cultural functions. Khinasi believe alcohol makes people, slow-witted, ill-spoken, and prone to losing their temper. Such things are anathema to their Sayim. The stimulant powers present in coffee and tobacco do not dull the wits, but sharpen observation and are believed to make one more thoughtful and eloquent. ?Coffee lights the lamp of the thinker, tobacco smoothes the tongue of the speaker? is a common phrase indicating this attitude. This will be the extent of the honorable consumption behaviors seen in public.
Khinasi pride themselves on the fact that their streets are not cluttered by the drunk and down-and-out alcoholic. What happens in the privacy of the family home is another story. Many other substances exist that are used for their healing, calming, or mind-expanding powers. Hashish, a resinous byproduct of making hemp rope, is a powerful mood leveler. It is sometimes added to tobacco to calm the nerves, or to aid in sleeping. Several distillates of poppy flowers are used as medicinal painkillers, and available through apothecaries. There are even a few substances crafted from local fungi or from snake venom, which are reputed to aid in the contemplation of the world and the Avaniahura. All of these carry the potential for abuse and addiction. Such a thing would cause a horrific loss of Sayim for the family if discovered, so the family handles such matters privately, before they become a public issue.
The Khinasi are honorable warriors, who fight fairly and treat captured foes with honor. There is no loss of Sayim to surrender to a superior foe; it is considered a reasonable act which praises the captors? prowess. Similarly, a victorious warrior will treat those who surrender honorably with kindness and deference, showing them that their trust was merited. This is not to say that they are not cunning and devious warriors. Khinasi battle plans include a great deal of subterfuge and misdirection. They understand the value of confidence in their soldiers, and use many devious means to undermine the opposition before fighting begins. Behaviors such as assassination of leaders, holding women/children hostage, or attempting to negotiate terms for surrender, are seen as dishonorable. Foes that do such things have no Sayim, and are treated little better than cattle.
, 02-02-2009 at 04:32 PM|
Last edited by , 10-23-2011 at 12:12 PM
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