Monday, December 29, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Sexuality in Othebea and Maliph

Sexuality, Marriage And Crux 1
Each culture in Crux has its own particular views on sexuality, each being the result of different causes.

Othebea: The Othebeans have long regarded sex as a necessary evil, regarding lust of any kind to be a carnal sin.  However, Othebea unlike Maliph makes no qualms about the nature of procreation.  The act of physical lust is the sin, not who one is in love with.  Othebea believe that love can occur between any number of people, but marriage exists to confirm a sacred love between two people, as they have recorded from Othebes account at the beginning of their realm.

Acts of carnal lust of any kind are regarded as a sin.  Worse, the Othebeans have a long list of things they regard as foul acts of sexual deviance.  More than a few believe arcane magic is tied to having intercourse with corrupt beings of one kind or another.  Betrayals of marriage with any form of lust is only seen as being cured through rigorous self-flagellation.

Also unlike Maliph and parts of Ainesia, Othebea doesn't define gender roles.  The idea of husband and wife as a sacred bond means they view sex out of marriage as a sin, but hold no special views on the task of a man or woman.  The key to note is the association of the Summer Rose to love, but not lust, prostitution or even masturbation.

But the secret Othebean brothels, oft run by Black Rose attendants.  Even illegal in Othebea, the Church of the Black Rose continues to maintain a sort of criminal ring of such establishments.  More often than not, Black Rose worshippers tend to be arrested participating.  The associations of the Black Rose with such deviancy worries the greater Church of the Twins.  What drives them to seek such sinful behaviors?  The Black Rose worshippers often take the opposing tack: what drives the rampant sexual repression in their nation?

Maliphi: To the Maliphi, the idea of marriage as being on between two people is a lie.  They believe that a body must have its urges obeyed, and it is sinful to ignore it.  This is one of the many views that have always led them to clash with the Othebeans, their polygamy often coming to odds with the monogamous, somewhat repressed views of Othebea.

To note however, each Maliphi Khanate has its own rules and laws in regards to this form of polygamous behavior.  There are some common traits throughout Maliph, though.  Slaves rarely are allowed to marry.  Marriage never guarantees any sort of transfer of property between families, meaning that a woman or man retains their own property, never becoming subseviant to another because of their marriage.

Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of the Maliphi is their concern over procreation.  Most of the Khanates detest any form of sexuality that doesn't end in procreation, sometimes with very strict laws against such behaviour, often only matched by those in some parts of Ainesia.  How each Khan treats those convicted of this varies.

The most radical is the use of the Hor'Uzza Elixir, crafted from the fruit of the Uzza Trees that only grow in groves in the northern wastes of Maliph near Rruk.  This elixir is one of the few ways to cause a mammal to transform into the opposite sex without need of arcane magic, albeit through a painful process.  Uzza trees don't grow anywhere else, and the fruits by themselves have been known cause other odd, weird transformations if not distilled properly.  It is a sickly sweet fruit, long and full of green juice.

The Maliphi practice of polygamous marriages also applies to other monstrous peoples.  Cross-racial marriages between humans and other monstrous persons forms a solid core of how many Maliphi clans build loyalties.  How gender roles are treated vary based on the Khan involved, as each follow different traditions.  Overall, most of the time women are viewed as more important than men.  Women cannot be executed until Maliphi law, whereas if a man is accused of raping a woman, he faces life in slavery under most Khans.

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