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Prutopaedia: Perfidious & Proper (CLOSED)

A place to put national factbooks, embassy exchanges, and other information regarding the nations of the world. [In character]
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Prutopaedia: Perfidious & Proper (CLOSED)

Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 1:10 pm

"Prutopaedia: Perfidious & Proper" is an ongoing project to create a digital database and reference work for Prut-related knowledge and topics. It consists of a comprehensive summary of various information organised as articles. The index page is organised in an alphabetic order, but the various articles are completely random due to the nature, circumstances and frequency of updates. Prutopaedia is a supplementary work specifically designed to be read with and referenced by the official Prut Factbook (permanent WIP), and it will also link to various posts in FB&NI as a compendium of various already mentioned information.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 1:11 pm

Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:30 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 1:11 pm

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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 1:11 pm

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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 1:12 pm

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Baltied

Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun May 24, 2015 2:17 pm

Baltied or Baltid, from Old Prutonic Balutīdiz (balu-, adjective meaning evil, hostile, sick, painful, bad; tīdiz, noun meaning time, period) is a concept in Prut history, literature, mythology, and astronomy. It’s roughly translated as “bad times” or “painful times”. Baltied as a term has a poetic origin, being specifically tied to the early oral traditions of the Prutenian tribes in the post-Hevenfall age. Baltied in this case can either be synonymous with Hevenfall, from the perspective of history, it can be a narrative interpretation and meme for the actual event and how it was perceived and memorized by the Prutenian tribes, from the perspective of mythology and literature, or it can be used as an alternative term for the astronomical event.

Baltied was first mentioned and written down in the Ansger chronicles during the first century SH, then still in its Old Prutonic form, Balutīdiz. It was also mentioned during the introduction of the Vineta script in the second century SH, in its Old Low Pruton form Balotīd, from where it evolved into its modern Low Prut form, Baltied. Both the Ansger chronicles and the early Heliandist records like the Wulfira translations of the Megali Hagiographia and the Pénteuangélion use the term to describe the Hevenfall event as well as the entire period. Records vary as to how long Baltied lasted, with the Ansger mentioning a low estimate of three generations and the Heliandist records claiming six generations. The oral traditions preserved in modern song usually claim it lasted one generation, but the scholarly consensus is clear on this being only a narrative trope. These three numbers, one, three, and six respectively, have been the most frequently cited in Prut literary tradition, with six generations being the most frequent interpretation in modern works.

There’s a large corpus of work describing Baltied, with a tendency for later works to become more and more elaborate and descriptive. Frequent motives that come up in a vast majority of works are heat, fire, chaos, crop failure, uncertainty, pain, endurance, sickness, and adversity. Similar associations and connotations exist when the word is used in contemporary idioms and comparisons, especially in the case of war and starvation. The Prut Civil War is often described as the Kleenbaltied (literal translation “little Baltied”) by writers. References to the Baltied can also be found in neighbouring communities. The Hesperians have adopted the term as “baltida” where it has a meaning synonymous with “crisis or disaster that lasts long”. Analogous to the Prutenians, the Hesperians called their own civil war “baltida sorollosa” (approximately translated as “long loud disaster”). Baltied can also be used a term to describe a personal event or period, usually something regarded as catastrophic. It’s common for people to related to and experience very stressful and/or traumatic periods as their own Baltied.

A very graphic description of Baltied is found in the following old text excerpt:


“I dared not look up anymore, as such audacity was mercilessly reprimanded. Better to remain low and bear its gaze, skin slowly roasting and sizzling. I wished I had a drop to spare for my eyes, but even such a minute moment of wetness was now impossible. I didn’t even know if I still had tongue and throat since they stopped hurting. I heard a thump; the horse finally gave in. The only sound it made was contact with the soil, no whimper, no breath. Then I felt a wonderful, damp, irony scent and next came two sounds I’ll never forget; teeth biting through hide and grinding against bone, and the awful slurping noise. When I saw my companion drinking, the desire to look up came again. Look up and endure that instant of searing, then nothing, peace. But I only had strength for down, not up.”

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Haruch

Postby Neo Prutenia » Mon May 25, 2015 6:12 am

Haruch or Harug or Harg, from Old Prutonic Harugaz (possible translations include sanctuary, halidom, altar, pile/heap of stones), is a sacred place and place of worship in Prut Heliandist tradition, especially the traditions of Neo Prutenia, western Hesperia, and southern Veleslavia. The meaning, purpose, and role of Haruchs has evolved and changed over the ages, but it has always retained some ritual importance and played a role in remembrance rites and prayers. The actual design of Haruchs has also quite changed over the ages, with distinctive styles and preferences having developed in various regions, and urban and rural settlements.
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Rural Kunnharuch


Universalities in design include the use of stones in its construction, circular patterns, a connection with nature, usually by including ground soil in the design or planting trees, and choice of location. The type of stone used can play a role, but any local rock of certain age and/or significance will do. Since Haruchs are local sacred area imported stones are generally not used. The stones in question have to have spent at least one generation above ground and in direct sunlight, and combined with ritual invocations and purifications hallows it in its role as witness, observer, protector, and memoriser. Sandstone, various limestone and particularly marble, serpentine, and infrequently granite and basalt have all been used in the construction of Haruchs. The circle pattern is a representation of the sun and works in synergy with the stone; the circle and sun symbolise motion, passage of time, vigour, warmth, change, while the firmly set stone represents timelessness, stasis, memory, endurance, and stillness. The circle can be a relatively simple ring of smaller stones, or an elaborate and expensive radial sett paving. Ground soil and/or plants serve as a connection with the land, nature, and life, and as a reminder of the sacredness of the Haruch. Finally, the location must be in a free area where it can be in direct sunlight, typically as the centrepiece of a garden or park. Traditional Haruchs are placed in the direction of the east, so that the first sunlight of the day can shine immediately on it, but this is no longer a requirement.
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Urban Haruch
with Solar tree

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Haruchs come in three versions, personal, familial, and communal. Personal Haruchs or Eegaharuchs are maintained by one person who dedicates it to a specific cause or for a specific purpose. Usually they are of temporal nature and serve as a reminder of a task or quest to be done. Once this task is completed the Eegaharuch is ritually dismantled and returned to nature. Religious Heliandists consider Eegaharuchs to be a very personal and sacred expression of faith and condemn their use for trivial or frivolous causes, since they are a form of oath and oathbreaking is a major violation in Heliandism. Secular Heliandists tend to have a more relaxed attitude about Eegaharuchs and frequently use them as a form of self-expression and expressing their individuality, and they appreciate them for their aesthetic, sentimental, and philosophical value. Eegaharuchs tend to be kept on a window sill looking east or a balcony oriented in the same direction. Familial Haruchs are actually the most common and are the ‘standard’ form of Haruch. When one says Haruch usually they mean this one, although there is a separate word specifically for this type, Kunnharuch. Kunnharuchs are vastly more numerous in rural settings than urban homes, as they are typically placed in a garden, meadow, or wood. Rural Kunnharuchs also tend to be much bigger than urban ones. Urban families with a garden sometimes maintain larger ones to show their status and wealth, but most are nested on balconies or specially dedicated walls and vases. Urban families also tend to share one multi-family Haruch, frequently on the top of their building. This type of Haruch is a mix between familial and communal Haruchs. Communal Haruchs, or Gemeenharuchs, are a relatively recent development, having come in vogue only after the latter urbanisation and industrialisation periods in Prut history, although they have existed in some form since the early tribal age. In example, the Grand Haruch in Vineta is one of the oldest continually maintained and used Haruchs and it’s been a communal one since its inception over three millennia ago. Communal Haruchs are placed in public parks, gardens, and other green areas. Unlike familial Haruchs which tend to be more personal, communal Haruchs are very generalised and standardised, as well as larger, hence they are used in various communal rites, festivities and prayers.
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Gemeenharuch with sundial


Haruchs also vary in purpose and dedication. As a rule, Eeganharuchs can be dedicated to anything the dedicator desires, usually something noble. Kunnharuchs have the universal purpose of serving as remembrance posts for the family or related families. They can be part of ancestor veneration and ancestor remembrance rites, a place for inspiration and comfort, and even a place to invoke the guidance and wisdom of an ancestor. Almost all family celebrations are held close to the Haruch, in particular baptisms and marriages. Very large and old Haruch stones are frequently inscribed with the names of family members. Once the entire surface is covered with names, the centre stone is ‘decommissioned’ and ritually replaced with a newer, larger one. A piece of the old stone is placed in a shrine-like opening carved into the new one, while the rest of the pieces are used as per local custom, e.g. scattered, returned to nature, pulverised, turned into talismans, etc. Communal Haruchs have a similar, but expanded role compared to family Haruchs. A majority of communal Haruchs serve as cenotaphs. If a community, regardless of size, has only one communal Haruch, it will be a cenotaph without exception. Since Prut burial practices are almost exclusively based on cremation, such cenotaph Haruchs are considered very important and sacred. Larger settlements tend to have more than one Haruch dedicated as a cenotaph, but the first one is always considered the primary. Modern communal Haruchs dedicated as cenotaphs have an empty interior accessible via a slot through which pieces of paper with the names of deceased are inserted. A variation of this tradition is inserting part of the deceased’s ashes into the slot instead of the name. Customs vary quite a lot from location to location. Communal Haruchs that are not dedicated as cenotaphs come in several forms, with the majority being sundials. Especially modern ones can include solar trees as well, although traditionalists consider these a bit crass. These types of Haruchs are used in communal rites and festivities.


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Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Tue May 26, 2015 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Tue May 26, 2015 5:00 am

Basel (disambiguation) - this article is about the Pruto-Heliandist monarchic title and rank. if you're looking for the game, click here.

Basel, probably derived from Old Pelasgian βασιλεύς (approximately translated as king, lord, patron, or ‘prōtos metaxỳ ísōn’), is a historical title used by Pruton sovereigns. As far as ranking goes, the title of Basel would imply a position analogous to ‘emperor’, ‘Kaiser’, ‘Shāhanshāh’, and other titles that imply a position of ‘king of kings’. The title and institution of Basel had existed among Prutons from the late first or early second century SH to 2608 SH, or roughly two-and-a-half millennia, before it was discontinued. The concept of Basel is heavily tied to Pruto-Heliandist custom, especially within the context of Orthodox Heliandist tradition, and a clear analogue isn’t encountered in either other Prutonic societies nor other (Orthodox) Heliandist societies. The meaning and role of the concept have varied significantly over the centuries and with the dynastic shifts, each essentially having its own interpretation, but the core traits of ‘Basel-dome’ have been codified by the Albertines, the first dynasty of the Pruton Empire. Incidentally, a Basel’s domain is referred to as ‘Riek’ (Modern Low Prut, translated as realm, or empire), which is an interestingly generic term considering that each other title and rank within the old aristocratic system and hierarchy had a specific term, e.g. kuningdom (modern Königdom) for kingdom, grafiskap (modern Graavschap) for county, etc. Current scholarly consensus is that this confirms the “first among equals” status of Basels, as a Basel typically was title granted to someone already having another rank, typically a king or Hartog.

The first Basel was Adalberht the First-crowned, a king of the Pranger tribe and the historically first Prutenian tribe to fully adopt Heliandism. It’s documented that Adalberht was first crowned as king of the Pranger in the location of contemporary Königssteen (hence the name of the city), and later he would become king of two other tribes, the Swunn (probably where modern Bärlin is) and by extension the entire Saarafardiger tribal federation, and the Aarlikers (assumed to be the western coastline of modern Neo Prutenia) and thus also king of the Dirdetahm tribal federation. After crossing the river Basel and completing the Weraldosaiwiz campaign, Adalberht was essentially the de facto king of every tribe and tribal group, and his role as “king of kings” was cemented after organising the empire into various realms, which were still just tribal kingdoms at that point in history. The title of Basel appears to have been resurrected specifically to refer to Adalberht, with the implicit meaning of “protector” or perhaps “judge”. The subsequent Albertine Basels settled into their role as “sacred kings” essentially combining the roles of ruler, sovereign, overseer, chief judge, and chief ceremonial and rite master. The Albertines were also the first truly Heliandist rulers, and have as such served as a pattern and template for many subsequent such rulers in many societies, in particular the later Hesperian monarchs, e.g. the introduction and spread of caesaropapism among Orthodox Heliandist, anti-clericalism, etc.

The Leopoldine dynasty changed the role of the Basel after coming to power. Unlike the more benign and indirect approach of the Albertines, the Leopoldines ruled directly and autocratically, curbing the liberties of the tribal kingdoms and solidifying the realms into a stronger bloc. Thus Basels came to be associated with concepts like dominance and autocracy, as well as progress. Their perception shifted from judge to teacher, from arbiter to authority. This role was more or less unchanged until the Rutgerite takeover, with the Rutgerites switching back to a glorified Albertine approach during their rule. The aspect of judge was severely strengthened at the expense of most other roles. Institutions like the Blutgericht tended to emphasise this best. An aspect added specifically by the Rutgerites was that of punisher or executioner, as the Basel came to be the chief ‘oath-holder’ to whom all others own oath and fealty. The last dynasty were the Fredericians, who broke with the Rutgerite traditions and managed to assert their hegemony so thoroughly that even Leopoldine autocracy paled in comparison. Frederician absolutism elevated the Basel to essentially next highest authority to God, implemented a concept similar to divine right, and tempered further the concepts and perceptions of monarchy and monarchism. Current traits associated with the term Basel are strongly coloured by Frederician influences, and tend to have a slightly negative connotation, at least in Neo Prutenia.

From a cultural perspective, the term Basel is also rather exclusive. Prut only accept the sovereign of the Prutons as a true “Basel”, with rulers from other realms never being referred to as such. Generic terms like ruler and monarch are used instead, although exceptionally powerful and/or liked rulers are sometimes referred to as emperor or autokrator. One should also notice that a Basel was never the ruler of a territory, but of a people; all Pruton monarchies have always been popular monarchies, e.g. king of the Pranger, Basel of the Prutons. Prut monarchs were never associated with a territorial mandate or constitutional state, although the Fredericians attempted but failed to implement such a change. This is also important for the actual selection or election of a Basel, since the title was technically not inheritable. The Basel was traditionally chosen and invested by the current matriarch of the ruling dynasty, typically being either a brother or son of the matriarch, with brothers having been slightly preferred. In some cases the offspring of the matriarch’s sisters or even daughters had been preferred. This system also explains the longevity of all the Basel dynasties, each having ruled for several centuries. For similar reasons, there’s no female equivalent for Basel, a Basel’s wife was simply his wife or consort. The dynastic matriarch was simply the matriarch (Laidmodar). In case the Basel and Matriarch were siblings, the term Baselskwen (modern Balskwen) was used for the sister/matriarch, which roughly translates as “Lady of the Basel” (in the sense of female “Lord”) or “Mistress of the Basel” (in the sense of female “master”).


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Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Tue May 26, 2015 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Tue May 26, 2015 6:36 am

Basel (disambiguation) - this article is about the game. If you're looking for the Pruto-Heliandist monarchic title and rank, click here.

Basel is a two player board game played traditionally on a hexagonal board with various figure pieces, although many variants exist. The standard board consist of 91 hexagonal cells differentiated by three colours, a light, a dark, and a mid-tone. Customary colours tend to be various shades of brown, if the board and pieces are made from wood, or white, grey, and black if precious stones, ivory, and/or ebony were used as materials. The mid-cell of the board is usually coloured in the mid-tone. The board has 11 files, marked by letters a –l (letter j is customarily not used), and 11 ranks (which bend 60° at file f). Ranks 1–6 each contain 11 cells, rank 7 (filled with black pawns in the initial setup) has 9 cells, rank 8 has 7, and so on. Rank 11 contains exactly one cell: f11
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The game is played by six different pieces and at the beginning each player has eighteen pieces, those being nine pikes, three lances, two horses, two cannons, one marshal, and one Basel. Except for Basel, all other pieces can have varying names depending on region and local custom. The goal of the game is to use your pieces to eliminate the opponents pieces while trying to save your own. The game ends when one side loses their Basel piece. Depending on variant played, the winner is either the player who eliminated the opponents Basel, which is the preferred method used by casual players or for quick matches, or the one having more points left on the board, which is calculated by the remaining pieces, but this method is increasingly getting out of vogue. There are several other variants on how to score and how to win. Some variants allow ‘liberating’ pieces your opponent has eliminated or captured before, others don’t. The pieces have two colours, light and dark. The dark pieces are usually called anti-pieces, e.g. the light Basel is the Basel and the dark Basel is the Anti-Basel.

All pieces have a specific way they can move and a specific way they can capture or eliminate opposing pieces. Pikes, the most numerous, move only one cell forward, cannot go back nor turn, but they capture obliquely forward to an adjacent cell. Lances move diagonally only and are restricted to one colour, meaning that a player’s three lances can never meet and they can never leave their assigned colour cells. They can move along same coloured cells diagonally as many cells as the board allows. Horses can move “over” other pieces, the only ones that can do so, and they effectively jump in a circle of three cells away. Horses will thus always “land” on a cell different in colour they started with, e.g. if they start their move on light, they will end on a mid-tone or dark cell three cells away. Cannons move in a straight line in any direction as many cells as the board allows, which means they can pick one of the six cells adjacent to their starting cell and then move in a straight line to each next cell. The marshal is usually regarded as the strongest piece, and it moves the same way both the lances and cannons can, which makes this piece the most mobile piece on the board. Finally the Basel can move to any two adjacent cells in any direction.

Players develop various strategies and tactics by using the layout of the board and the movement restrictions of the pieces to outmaneuver each other and attempt to capture as many opposing pieces as possible while specifically targeting the opposing Basel. The light player usually has the first move. There’s three potential starting arrays for the pieces, with both players having to use the same. The dark player usually chooses the starting array, thus somewhat limiting what the potential first move of the light player can be. A match can be very quick or agonisingly slow, so many players insist on a soft time limit for how long an opponent may deliberate his next move. Customarily it is assumed that if you haven’t moved a piece in five minutes, you have forfeited, but this is not a hard rule in Basel. Tournaments on the other hand can be very strict in enforcing time limits, going as far as limiting it to one minute per turn. Tournaments are actually quite popular in the Prut Meritocracy, which resulted in some schools adding Basel to their standard curriculum.
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Typical board with standard array


The most avid players of Basel come from the realms of Neo Prutenia and Veleslavia, and players from these two areas tend to have a friendly, but harsh rivalry with each other. Demographically Basel is favoured by seniors, teenagers, and children, while adults and mature people don’t tend to play as much, presumably because of time restrictions. Basel can be played indoors or outdoors, with outdoors being preferred by many casual players. Prut parks and gardens nearly always have a few players regularly fighting their matches, and many parks have areas specifically intended to be used for Basel. In some cities, like Lieblich and Wrangelborg, parks feature free to use public games with tables already designed with a Baselboard hex surface and a niche were pieces are kept. The national championship of the Prut Meritocracy is held annually in Wrangelborg one year and in Baselborg every other year. International competitions hosted by the Prut Meritocracy are always held in Baselborg.

The game didn’t actually originate in Baselborg, although they share a name. Basel was supposedly invented by an Albertine Basel who intended to use the game to explain warfare to his nephews and teach them military maneuvers, but this story is considered apocryphal. Another version states it was invented by a marshal who wanted to showcase the importance of his position within the military hierarchy to his liege lord. Basel most likely had several predecessors, and the name stuck because it was one of the favoured games of the Leopoldine and Rutgerite Basels. The oldest form of Basel recognisable to current players was played approximately since the 1600s or 1700s SH. The modern game evolved during the 2000 to 2800 SH period, and the current rules, pieces, and form have been standardised and used since the mid-2800s SH. Although, the multitude of variants and play styles show that the game is still evolving and changing, constantly adapting to new tastes and audiences. Culturally, beyond its educational and entertainment value, it has contributed a lot to literature and vocabulary, by adding new expressions and concepts, and being often used for analogues and metaphors.


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Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Tue May 26, 2015 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu May 28, 2015 2:59 pm

Weih or Wieh, from Old Prutonic wīhaz (sacred, holy), is a general term for anything considered sacred, holy, or taboo. It is the product of the process of “weihen” which literally means “make holy”, “consecrate”, or “bless”. While in modern parlance a Weih is typically interpreted in the more secular fashion as a taboo or ban, the concept itself dates back millennia, even to the Pre-Heliandist belief system era, in specifically Pruton/Prutenian history. Other Heliandist groups did not have such a concept before contact with the Prutons. Due to Weih’s age it has naturally experienced several shifts in meaning and phases of use, but customarily a Weih is either a place or a thing, but it has infrequently been used for animals and even humans. Regardless of what is referred to as a Weih, it is always of temporal nature, that is, there’s no such thing as a permanent Weih, e.g. a Haruch may go through the same process of “weihen”, but because of its permant nature it’s not a Weih. So a Weih can become a Haruch, but a Haruch cannot normally revert to a Weih. Still in a broader sense, any holy place can be considered a Weih and is frequently described as such in colloquial expressions and uses of the term. Vineta, one of the holy cities of Heliandism, is often colloquially called Wiehstatt, despite it obviously being a permanent place.

Scholarly consensus on Weihs is that they were developed as a social measure against resource depletion. The first recorded Weihs were always natural areas like rivers, lakes, forests, pastures, and arable land. Early records point out that a place would be declared holy or taboo, that is declared a Weih, and thus untouchable to humans. This status usually lasted one year, sometimes longer, although time spans need not be that exact or that specified at all. Something could have been declared a Weih until “the birds returned”, “the first snow”, “the next lunar eclipse (never specified if partial, penumbral, or total)”, or “the next female child in a community or family being born”. Community leaders would propose a Weih, then depending on community and custom, it would either have to be accepted by the people or it was made official in a ceremony. Once a Weih was recognised, it was brutally enforced. Even well into the 2700s SH violation of Weih was punishable by death. Since a Weih was temporal, encompassed the entire community, and was applied to something a modern economist would describe as a public good, that is resources, the Weih is essentially a sophisticated and somewhat mythicised measure to prevent a tragedy of the commons. In example, a tribal elder, experienced person, or other authority figure might recognise a resource being depleted, like the fish stock in a river, game in a forest, etc, and to prevent a disaster a meeting would be called and the resource would be declared sacred, a Weih, and prohibited to humans. This measure is certainly a product of the resource scarcity and fragile ecological state of the biosphere during the Hevenfall event, a form of sociocultural adaptation for survival.
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Preserved Albertine-era Weihsweerd


During the Albertine dynasty a gradual shift in application of the Weih occurred. With the biosphere having stabilised and resources needed for early human development becoming more bountiful, the need for Weihs as taboos gradually declined. In the mid- to late Albertine period Weihs were used to sanctify items, at first those needed for survival and with utility in mind, like agricultural equipment, and later weaponry and vehicles like swords and ships. A Weih-tool, like a scythe that was a Weih was only holy for one season, or under specific circumstances. A farmer might seek the blessing through an oath; the tool serving him as long as he used it to feed his family in example. Soldiers often made Weihs out of their arms and armour, with the implicit limitation that they were Weihs only if used for defence, or righteous causes, or justice, or similar noble goals. With time a Weih became associated with oaths and sacrifice, and it began to include magical connotations and folk religion elements and practices. During the Leopoldine and Rutgerite areas a split with this magical tradition is seen, as the later generations and societies saw them as pointless superstitions and a legacy of a pre-Heliandist, uneducated past. The Weih would mostly be relegated to its “secular” role of making certain areas taboo for a limited period. Leopoldines used it frequently to protect forests and fishstocks, as their power was dependent on their naval supremacy and control of trade. Rutgerites used it as an intimidation tool for sociopolitical control. More than a few unruly vassals’ fortresses were declared Weihs to excise them from their base of operations or make them targets. The Frederician era saw a subsequent heliandisation of the Weih, as modern Prut would recognise it today. Weihs became again a measure used by communities to husband their resources and sanctify their actions. Weihs became a method to proclaim a goal, quest, or other aspiration as a personal mission sacred and important to one’s person. Frederician Basels, in example, made Weihs out of their swords, so that they would be “unbreakable unless used for a righteous cause”. Technically speaking, even such Weihs had a fixed time period they worked, specifically until the limit imposed on them became relevant. This led to a surge of talismans being produced and used by people. Blessed by prayer and enforced by oaths, Weihs again began to have a magical component to them, with superstitions rising. Merchants would wear Weihs to protect them as long as they didn’t cheat partners, soldiers wore Weih-items for protection for as long as they didn’t desert comrades in arms, etc. Still, the Frederician revival and heliandisation of Weihs period never reached the extremes of the Albertine era, nor did it last that long. In the period from the 2500s SH to the latter half of the 2600s SH the new religious and philosophical streams renounced the “trivialisation” of Weihs, now considered proper Heliandist rites, and sought to reform their image and use.

Subsequently, and especially after the War of Siblings and the formation of Neo Prutenia and the founding of Silver Heliandism as a coherent religious belief system, Weihs lost any mystical or magical properties in the eyes of a majority of Prutenians. The ancient role of rite of consecration and of taboo remained and were even strengthened, but in personal applications Weihs became the more practical role of reminder, motivator, inspiration, and/or tool for behavioural change. Modern personal Weihs are often goodluck charms, tools for prayer, meditative aids, or just decorative. Especially among secular crowds Weihs are another form of self-expression and self-realisation. Some philosophical schools and traditions as well as several academic circles and institutions have appropriated the Weih concept as a method and measure of instruction or learning. Almost every public library in the Prut Meritocracy is a Weih during the time people are learning inside of it; this gives it a sacred nature and connotation, a place and process that is spiritual, elevating, and should never be disturbed or disrespected. In the city of Lieblich, engineers, technicians, and machinists of any kind customarily consecrate the machine(s) they are currently working on as a Weih until the job is done as a form of motivation and reminder to complete a task meticulously and thoroughly. A similar custom exists among physicians and medical personnel in Vineta and Königssteen, although hospital and clinics and related places are considered Weihs anyway by a majority of the Prut people, i.e. places not to be disturbed or disrespected. These modern attitudes about Weihs were generally formed and reinforced during the Prut Civil War in the 2910s and 2920s, when vast destruction and death were mitigated by calculated and conspicuous uses of Weihs by mutual agreement of all sides. Just to showcase the importance of the Weih concept in Prut society, during five years of brutal war and after nearly one and a half million dead, over 90% of casualties were armed combatants and not a single institution of education or healthcare was deliberately destroyed, with the notable exception of the university of Königssteen, where the fighting actually started.
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The Silver lake, a national Weih


Other examples of the use of Weih as a public safety measure are the Teutwoold and the Silver lake, two areas considered very sacred by Prutenians in particular and Prut in general, although their status as Weih is somewhat disputed due to the de facto permanent nature of their status. The Teutwoold is a Weih until “men will walk on the sun”, which is technically possible and might happen someday. The Silver lake was consecrated by throwing a stone, specifically an inscribed piece of a decommissioned Haruch into it, making it a Weih until the stone surfaces again. These are very atypical applications of Weih, since they make their areas untouchable for an undeterminable span of time, but the idea behind it was to protect them essentially in perpetuity. The Pruton sea, also considered sacred and off limits, has been turned into a Weih for one year nearly every year since 2801 SH, with two exceptions, 2962-3 SH, when a pipeline was constructed, and 2988 to 2994 SH when an undersea tunnel was built. Such uses of Weih are quite frequent in the PM and are accepted in all realms, although they are not imposed by the administration. They are rather agreed upon in realm or nation-wide referenda. Such unusual Weihs are then referred to as National Weihs or Realm Weihs.
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Typical modern Weih;
utilitarian sundial and ring

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Personal Weihs vary in their use and application much more than public or communal Weihs. Again, there’s a visible divide between practicing religious Heliandists, secular people, and even practitioners of Ald Weih magic. Religious people tend to appreciate personal Weihs as prayer and meditation aids, implements during ceremonies and rites, and as foci for thoughts and actions. They can and often also do serve in the purpose of knowledge transfer, keeping memory of past deeds and relatives, and propagating family or communal rites. A Weih can be a family heirloom venerated generationally and renewed with constant effort and practice. Secular people tend to prefer the philosophical and abstract side of the Weih concept. Secular Weihs typically have a utilitarian purpose or application, and tend to generally be more elaborate and decorative. Some like to combine Weihs with jewelry harkening back to the earlier crazes with charms and talismans. A home or important tool might be made into a Weih to keep it off limits to others. Musicians often turn their instruments into a Weih, particularly if their instrument is old, unique, and/or of high quality. Finally practitioners of Ald Weih use them in magical rituals and for magical purposes. While they are often regarded as superstitious, or even heretical by the fanatically religious, these practitioners often create Weih charms, talismans, and protective jewelry that’s popular with people of all kinds. However, regardless of value and importance, personal Weihs are not subject to the same degree of rigorous punishment for violation as communal and public ones. A poacher hunting game illegally faces a stricter penalty than someone desecrating a person’s meditation room without asking permission first. On a personal level people tend to take such violations very seriously and may end relations with an offender.

One should also note that another concept is closely tied to Weih, that of a human Weih or a Weihwar, from wīhaz and weraz. While the temptation to translate is as holy man is strong, a more appropriate translation would be “cursed person”. Pre-Albertine and Albertine Prutons did not have the exact same perception of the term “holy” as the modern Prutenians have. One should note that being declared “holy” in this case meant “separate from society”, that is becoming untouchable, a pariah. Weihwar essentially were excised from their community, although not declared outlaws (Niding) right away. A Weihwar suffered a civil death and complete exclusion from society. Depending on severity of the crime committed to earn the ire of the community, a Weihwar might have simply been ostracised, usually for a set period of time, or banished or exiled for a long period. A weih still being a temporal measure, a Weihwar had the right to return to society after a set period of time or after performing a deed that would release him or her, following the same rule as other Weihs. From a legal perspective a Weihwar was not to be harmed or interacted with all, at least by members of their own (former) community, but reasonable exceptions were nearly always made, especially outside of a community. A Weihwar who returned before the time up was usually warned on their first transgression, branded on their second, and declared Niding on the third, with the latter essentially being a death sentence. From the perspective of modern Prut law and legal traditions, the concept of Weihwar still exists and is practiced in a limited and quite different fashion. A contemporary Weihwar is a persona non grata, and the sentence can be applied to both domestic residents or foreign nationals, usually undesirables and unwished diplomats. If a resident is sented as a Weihwar, he or she is internally exiled for a set period. Foreigners get extradited, expelled, or banished and receive a travel ban, although foreigners frequently receive a much longer sentence. A resident might be exiled for one year, but foreigners are typically prohibited from entering Prut sovereign territory for five years or more.


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Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Thu May 28, 2015 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:11 am

Dynastic governance and Kwens; an overview

During the period of the Pruton monarchy (111 SH to 2608 SH using the broad definition) the form of government and methods of governance and administration remained largely unchanged and consistent with Pruto-Heliandist customs and social organisation. Although during the centuries and with socioeconomic development and advances in both technology and culture as well as social sciences there were several reforms and updates to the system, the only attempt at a thorough and fundamental change was during the late 2300s during the Frederician era. The republican era followed similar patterns and was both a shift and evolution from the previous models. The government in the proper period of the monarchy, however, is referred to as Dynastic governance. There is currently no scholarly consensus on the topic of Frederician absolutism and if it should be considered a separate form of governance or just the final version of Dynastic governance before the republican shift. The basis of Dynastic governance were the Kwens, and most importantly the Balskwen or Baselkwen.

A common misconception when it comes to Dynastic governance is overestimating the role of the Basel. The Basel’s importance was great and his roles were many, including ceremonial master, sovereign, military leader, religious leader, and authority figure, but the Basel was neither the administrator nor part of the actual government. This was germane to all nobles of all ranks and titles in every hierarchy of every realm; the Basel just happened to enjoy the primary position among the highest rank of king. Outside of the context of military and ceremonial matters, the visibly male nobility were figureheads, representatives, negotiators, and agents, specifically agents of the actual executive. The administration and main force of executive power was held by the Kwens, the chief political matrons of a group or community. Prut social customs placed women in administrative positions, with females by far dominating in areas of economics, husbandry of resources, industry, development, construction, accounting, bureaucracy, education, and governance. Women on average, enjoyed greater social stability, had higher rates of literacy, were better and more broadly educated, and enjoyed more economic and financial privileges. Families were organised along dominant matrons and her siblings and offspring. Males on the other hand enjoyed higher mobility and were the main source of military and labour manpower, living and working as seasonal migrants or specialised workers, tradesmen, and academicians. Matrons of families and family groups jointly agreed on a Kwen who tended to dominate the entire socioeconomic hierarchy of a community. Complementary to this community existed the system of nobility, made exclusively of men, who were the chief source of agents and labour of various kinds. Brothers and sons of the Kwens and matrons were liberally exchanged between each other to foster cooperation and alliances, as well as connections via blood.

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A Kwen and her suitor
Dynastic governance was exactly this system of Kwen-connections on a national scale. The highest ranked matron of the nation was the matriarch of the current Basel’s house or family, being referred to as Laidmodar if she was his mother, and Balskwen or Baselskwen if she was the sister or other relative. The term Balskwen became the generic term, derived from Basel and Old Prutonic kwenǭ (roughly translated as woman, matron, or matriarch; usually implied to be an older woman or woman past childbearing age). The Kwens formed a vast and intricate network of familial lines using their male relatives as agents and bargaining tools. The position of a Kwen was based around many factors, including prestige of her lineage, size of her retinue, supporter base, wealth, and ability to attract and sponsor nobles. In practicality this often resulted in powerful sibling couples, with a high ranking noble supporting and sponsoring his nephews while a Kwen financed and administrated her realm. Among themselves, Kwens often exchanged territory, influence, and retinue members. Dynastic governance was thus quite fluid and very decentralised, but also very robust and effective in managing the huge and populous empire. While publicly Kwens might rally behind a king (highest ranked territorial ruler not counting the Basel), it was often a noble managing to gain the support of several Kwens who became king. Such relationships were mutually beneficial and usually of temporary nature, thus making both partners competitive to retain each other’s support. Kwens gained access to powerful agents, manpower and labour forces, and means to increase their influence, while nobles gained financing, support, and political power.

The actual governance worked on two levels, local and national, with the national being similar to the local, but much larger in scope and scale. Locally the Kwen was the chief administrator and executive decision maker. She would collaborate with her pool of advisors and supporters which were usually the other relevant matrons. Unless a Kwen was exceptionally powerful and/or had a large pool of both male and female siblings, she had to govern with the assistance of a council of matrons, the Modarraat or Kwenenraat. The Kwen and Modarraat set policies and handled financing of lesser administrative bodies. Next in the hierarchy were various agencies, usually limited to a single area of development. These were precursors to the various modern public agencies seen today, e.g. the watch (usually headed by a trusted male sibling of the Kwen), firefighters, the archive, schools, etc. Agencies were managed by an agent of the Kwen. Again, powerful Kwens would seek to staff them with relatives, but usually they were a mix of the Kwen’s household and the households of her supporters. Lesser bodies enjoyed various degrees of operative autonomy. Kwens also had to finance independent agencies like the courts, the local garrison, and trade/transport institutions, which were headed by men, specifically independent agents of the Basel (in theory) or otherwise freemen unbound to any Kwen. Independent agents handled public security and public disputes, and therefore had to be impartial and objective. Later on, especially on the national level, the independents organised into their own Raats or councils, forming the first truly national institutions, chief among them the military council, the Grand Archive and Union of Preceptors (although both of these tended to be female dominated numerically), and the mercantile houses which would soon become the Prut Hanse. Within these structures tendencies of nepotism and meritocracy tended to wax and wane, generally balancing each other out after periods of the former or latter being predominant. A Kwen may have wanted to place her relatives in as many positions as possible, but her power structure was dependent on their competence and since any male agent could easily be adopted in a Kwens household and family, there was typically a race to snatch the best, most competent ones before they could become an asset to a rival Kwen. Denying such assets to independent agencies was also a goal of the more ambitious Kwens.

On a national level, the chief regional Kwens formed a sort of parliament. In effect, this was an assembly of the Kwens of all the Pruton kingdoms. This parliament was the Kwendag and it was an advisory and supervisory body of the Basel. While the Basel was the de facto sovereign of the Empire and commander in chief, in actuality the Basel was simply the primary agents of the Kwendag, technically required to execute its will and directions. In modern terminology and systems of governance the Basel might be regarded as a head of state while the leader of the Kwendag could be regarded as the head of government. The Basel’s Kwen was also a member of the Kwendag, which led to some interesting dynamics in the parliament. During times in which a powerful sibling couple were Basel and Balskwen, they could dominate the parliament and force through various policies. This abuse was very evident during the later stages of the Albertine dynasty, which had many such couples. This approach often resulted in discord and resentment in the Kwendag, and the other realm Kwens plotting to overthrow the current Basel or current Balskwen. The Leopoldines succeeding the Albertines was such a coup in essence. Interestingly, because noble titles weren’t hereditary and the Basel was chosen and could be challenged by anyone with enough support (although these were exclusively the realm kings) Kwens had to be careful in their ambitions. By and large they sought strong connections with each other to ease tensions and create a balance of power and influence. This in turn made the Pruton Empire very stable as long as this power wasn’t upset, which in the early centuries meant the borders of the empire remaining unchanged. The addition of new territory meant the creation of new kingdoms or expansion of existing ones, which would upset the balance of power and influence. Likewise, loss of territory would mean the same. The best example of a massive shift in power upsetting the balance and ending a dynasty was during Basel Gaisarik’s campaigns in Ardania, where vast new territories and people dramatically increased the power and prestige of the current ruling sibling couple, eventually resulting first in a freezing of financial assets by the Kwendag and later a successful plot of replacing the entire Albertine dynasty. The Leopoldines in turn played the system and Kwendag very well and managed to rule far longer and create a more prosperous empire by focusing on trade and overseas diplomacy without territorial changes, although even their approach resulted in a gradual shift in power when the northern and eastern realms had a far larger population and became much wealthier than the central and western ones, resulting in another dynastic shift.

Dynastic governance ended due to several reasons, chief among them were the strengthening of the state and the rise in power and influence of the independent agencies, beginning during the Rutgerite era and culminating in the Frederician period, were the fierce competition between the strong state military based Frederician faction and the strong public trade based Hansa faction ended both Dynastic governance, dynasties in general, and the monarchy after the brutal war of siblings and the formation of the republic. New religious streams and new sociocultural perspectives and ideas also encouraged a break with the old traditions and entrenched elitism inherent to the system of Dynastic governance and Kwens. The de facto dominance of Kwens in Prut governance remained until the 2610s, while de jure they lost their power after 2648 SH when East Prutenia (later Neo Prutenia) was founded. With the adoption of the first constitution in 2653 SH the system of Dynastic governance ended for good. Vestiges of the system remained in the form of matronages and nobility until the early 2700s, at which point the entire system of nobility was abolished and the first implementation of a plutocratic regime and meritocratic principles became the norm and standard of governance and statesmanship.


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Postby Neo Prutenia » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:50 pm

Overview

Standard Low Prut (Eenhaitsnederprut) or New Low Prut is constructed language based on the various Prutenian languages and dialects, as spoken mainly in the realm of Neo Prutenia and partially on the dialects spoken in other, mostly Pelagic, locales. As its name implies, Standard Low Prut (SLP) is the standardised, normative version of Low Prut that’s used in education, media, administration, diplomacy, everyday communication, and/or other formal settings. While it’s mutually intelligible with all Prutenian languages and dialects, SLP is not spoken natively in any part of the Prut Meritocracy (PM), although it has a considerable number of L1 speakers. SLP is, more importantly, the de facto lingua franca of the PM and it’s the main relay language used in all formal settings, particularly multilanguage interpretation and translation. Despite its ubiquity and the common misconception, SLP is not the main language of the PM nor its sole language of communication, but rather one of five official languages. Within the realm of Neo Prutenia SLP is still considered a learned language, with many individuals and groups using their local language or dialect in everyday communication, but the younger generations born after 2980 are increasingly discarding their minor regional languages and dialects in favour of SLP and are starting to consider it as their native language.

History

SLP is a continuation of the “New Low Prut” trend of the late 2800s and early 2900s, a period of increased urbanisation, migration, and social intermixing which resulted in the gradual displacement of Hanseatic Low Prut, the previous lingua franca of Neo Prutenia. Hanseatic Low Prut was spoken by the educated elite, the intelligentsia, and the wealthier social strata, and it served as the diplomatic tongue well into the late 2940s. New Low Prut emerged among the burgeoning city population, particular students and youths, and became increasingly popularised by student and independent newspapers at first, and the radio later. However, New Low Prut had no actual standardised form nor fixed orthography; instead, the local orthography and rules were used in the written form, or it was written in the style of Hanseatic Low Prut but with a different vocabulary. After the Prut Civil War things started to change considerably.

First and foremost Hanseatic Low Prut lost its privileged status and became associated with the despised previous order. Even more so, the war era, the influence of radio, and mass conscription resulted in the formation of a clear national identity and consciousness that shared a vocabulary, terminology, and context. The conditions were favourable to finally standardising Low Prut. The process still took the better part of a decade, with the University of Königssteen taking the initiative and leading the pack. An instrumental role was played by the participants from Hesperia, and the Kontor Prut from Wrangelborg, who helped convince people to incorporate elements from the Hesperian and Veleslav languages respectively, which later increased the social and cultural integrity of the PM. SLP became an official language of the PM on the same date the PM was founded, 25 Regner 2955, along with Hesperian and Raionese.

Construction

SLP was based on the five most widespread, most intelligible, and most familiar Prutenian languages/dialects, specifically; the grammar is based on the Vineta dialect, the vocabulary is heavily influenced by and based on the Zelisch dialect, the accent and pronunciation were adopted from the language of Lieblich, and the orthography, intonation, prosody, and manner of speech were adopted from the dialect of Königssteen and the dialect from Wrangelborg. Some minor elements were taken from other Low Prut dialects as well. In addition to the mentioned, SLP used High Prut as a template, especially for some orthographic solutions. Specifically the High Prut spoken in Mesonyktia was the main source, with some reliance on the varieties native to the Baselborg condominium and the High Prut spoken in southern Neo Prutenia. In example, both the letter “z” and the sound (ts or dz) were taken from Mesonyktian High Prut.

Similar to the Veleslav language, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree, SLP is phonemic and its alphabet is mostly phonetic. Each phoneme has only one grapheme, although unlike in Veleslav, SLP includes diagraphs for some phonemes. There are some slight exceptions, but those are exclusive to loanwords and words of clearly non-Prutonic origin. Hence the spelling in SLP is very consistent and easy to master. Initially, when the language was constructed, these inconsistencies and exceptions didn’t exist, and SLP was deliberately designed to eliminate such instances, but over time, and with the inclusion of native Veleslav speakers and speakers of Arfolan, as well as simple linguistic mutations and variations originating from younger speakers, some variations and exceptions developed.

SLP is a dynamic language, that is it has a dynamic accent, with the first syllable almost always being stressed. Stress can be short, mid-long, or long. Prefixes and suffixes however, as well as proclitics and enclitics are never stressed. In compound words, the root word (the last word in the compound) is the only stressed one. Some loanwords, calques, and words of non-Prutonic origin can sometimes have a different stress, meaning the usual first syllable rule might not be used, but there is a strong tendency to “prutise” such words and change stress. The fixed accent and forms of stress had a strong impact on SLP prosody and manner of speech; e.g. SLP has a strong tendency towards quick speech, strong emphasis, and alliteration in both spoken and written form. L1 speakers also tend to shorten long words because of this.

Alphabet

The SLP alphabet uses the following graphemes (left) for phonemes (right).

A,a - /ɑː/ e.g. Appel (apple), Fader (father)
Ä,ä - /ɛ/ e.g. Änderung (change), Bäcker (baker)
B,b - /b/ e.g. backen (bake), Leeb (loaf, body)
C,c - used in words of foreign origin or digraphs only; pronounced the same as in original; adopted from Hesperian
ch - /x/ or /ç/, depending on vowel preceding it; e.g. /x/ Nacht (night), /ç/ sich (reflexive pronoun, herself, themselves)
ck - /k/ or /kk/, depending on stress, e.g. /k/ Reck (warrior, skirmisher), /kk/ Recke (hero, fighter)
D,d - /d/, e.g Dag (day, diet), laden (load)
E,e - /ɛ/, e.g. echt (real, natural), senden (send)
Eu,eu - /ɔɪ/, e.g. Euter (udder), Heu (hay), adopted from High Prut
F,f - /f/ or /ɸ/, depending on vowel next to it, e.g. /f/ fangen (catch), /ɸ/ Fogel
G,g - /ɡ/, e.g. Grund (ground), flegen (fly)
H,h* - /h/, e.g. Haid (heathland), Aarhorst (eagle eyrie) *May also be a silent h in some loanwords, usually from High Prut, e.g. Anhöhe (inclination, hill)
I,i - /ɪ/ or /iː/, generally just /i/ depending on stress; e.g. Isen (iron), singen (sing)
J,j - /j/, e.g. jagen (hunt), underjochen (subjugate, put under yoke)
K,k - /k/, e.g. Kind (child), senken (to sink something)
L,l - /l/, e.g. Licht (light), Dolch (dirk, dagger)
M,m - /m/, e.g. Melk (milk), Amt (office, ministry)
N,n - /n/, e.g. Nacken (neck, nape), un (and)
O,o - /ɒ/ or /ô/, depending on stress, e.g. oppen (open), Lon (pay)
Ö,ö - /œ/ or /ø/, e.g. Öl (oil), Löwe (lion)
P,p - /p/, e.g. Peerd (horse), sarp (sharp, hot)
Q,q - used in words of foreign origin only; pronounced the same as in original; adopted from Hesperian
R,r - /ɹ/ or /ʁ/, e.g. Regen (rain), lernen (learn)
S,s - /s/, e.g. Sonne or Sonn (sun), lesen (read)
Sch, sch - /ʃ/, schappen (create, do), Fisch, adopted from High Prut
T,t - /t/, Twig (branch, twig), Faart (journey, drive)
Tsch, tsch - /tʃ/, e.g. Tschai (tea, chai), rutschen (slide, glide), adopted from High Prut
U,u - /u/, e.g. unden (down, under), Lunte (fuse)
Ü,ü - /y/, e.g. üven (train, practise), lügen (lie, deceive)
V,v - /v/ or /ʋ/, frequently used in loanwords, or as a soft, barely audible /w/ sound, e.g. /v/ Vektor (vector), /ʋ/ Avend (evening), adopted from Hesperian
W,w - /w/, e.g. witt (white), Kwen (matron, matriarch)
X,x - used in words of foreign origin only; pronounced the same as in original; adopted from Hesperian
Y,y - used in words of foreign origin only; pronounced the same as in original; adopted from Hesperian
Z,z - /t͡s/ or /ts/, e.g. Zaun (fence), Lanze (lance), adopted from High Prut, usually used in High Prut loanwords

SLP doesn’t normally have the /z/, /ʒ/, /dʒ/, and /tɕ/ sounds, but they do infrequently come up in some loanwords, particularly of Veleslav origin. The letters “y”, “x”, “q” and “c” are very rarely used, while “z”, “v”, “sch”, “tsch”, and the “silent h” are used, but uncommon. A majority of these instances is either dialectal or in loanwords.

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Postby Neo Prutenia » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:51 am

Alch, also Alck, Alh, Elk, and Alach from Old Prutonic alhs (sanctuary, shelter, temple) is a specifically and obviously manmade place that is considered sacred, neutral ground in Pruto-Heliandist culture and custom. The Alch is conceptually related to the Haruch and Weih, occupying a spot on the other extreme of the Weih spectrum. Whereas a Weih is typically part of nature and temporal and a Haruch serves a ritual purpose, the Alch is constant and artificial and is only used or occupied when necessary. Depending on sources cited and local customs an Alch could be considered to either be completely antinomian, or anomic, or in a more contemporary sense extraterritorial. Universal for every Alch is that no laws, morals, or similar rules and systems of “mortal” origin are applicable or valid in an Alch; and Alch recognizes only natural law (contemporarily often simplified to mean the laws of physics or science in general) and sacred law (a theological concept, heavily disputed, basically implying divine laws originating from “God”). The Alch as an institution is of Pruton origin and may have been a relic of pre-Helinadist dispute resolution. The modern incarnation of the Alch is heavily influenced by Heliandism, however, like many other religious concepts secular and secularised incarnations, versions, and evolutions do exist or were developed parallel to the traditional one. The concept was adopted to a greater or lesser degree by most Heliandist and/or related groups; this cultural transfer was most prominent in areas that hosted a Kontor, e.g. Hesperia, Veleslavia. Due to this proliferation, and the only technical requirement being an Alch being artificial or manmade, there are many varieties.

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An Ermita serrà in Hesperia
In broad terms, Alchs are categorised into several types according to certain shared traits. By legal status they can be secular or spiritual; by function they are divided into public or open Alchs, special or closed Alchs, or refuges; by purpose they are used for education, conflict resolution, seclusion, restoration/relaxation, or habitation; and by origin they can be traditional or modern. There’s certainly some overlap between secular and modern, and spiritual and traditional Alchs, while public Alchs are often used for restorative purposes—this usually means that very few Alchs are considered to be distinctively of just one type. It’s far more the norm of each Alch being a liberal mix of origin, purpose, function, and status. Further diversity comes from cultural norms and peculiarities connected to various groups and their preferences and perception, which is further complicated by intercultural transference. For example, Prutenians would consider a courthouse to be a religious Alch which is nowadays commonly used in secular roles and purposes, while Veleslavs would consider courthouses to be secular Alchs by default, while the Raionese wouldn’t consider it an Alch; a Hesperian ermita serrà (mountain hermitage) is a traditional, religious Alch that’s considered a Helinadist specific type of monastery, while both Prutenians and Veleslavs consider it to be a secular Alch, specifically the former regarding it to be an art colony or vocational school, and the latter considering it to be a refuge or even correctional facility. In the Prut Meritocracy the consensus is to consider everything an Alch that at least one group considers an Alch, to avoid secular and religious distinctions but respect all Alchs equally, and to have each Alch be legally defined, registered, and protected. Outside of the PM such a consensus is not necessarily enforced or even codified. In general the more obvious types of Alchs, like monasteries, hermitages, and schools, are often protected as religious and/or cultural buildings.

The origin of Alchs is unclear and quite disputed in academic circles. The word “Alch”, while clearly of Prutonic origin, was most likely applied to a cultural import from the east, about the same time the Pelasgian term σχολή (scholē) was imported as well. Before the rise of Heliandism Prutenians probably used the term Alch to designate dwellings housing great and learned men, while after Heliandism Prutenians applied the term Alch primarily to what would become public education facilities and courthouses—bearing in mind that the old Prutenians considered learning the law as social obligation, while Schole (also Schule and School in modern Low Prut, meaning just “school”) was used to describe education centres for the privileged and rich. The spread of Heliandism directly led to an increase in literacy rates due to the spread of the Vineta script. The new script was then taught in Alchs due to its religious origin. Later stratification of the population and rise in social complexity resulted in Alchs being divided into “urban courthouses” and “rural monasteries”, a distinction that still exists in the Prutenian psyche, while schools became the sole proper education facility. With the passing of time, courthouse Alchs became the secular, public Alchs, and monastic Alchs retained their religious character, and this would later be transferred to other Heliandist cultures via trade and war. In Hesperia, which had its own version of the religious Alch, the secular meaning became widespread, while in Veleslavia it became the exact opposite, a term to refer to a monastery or similar concept but specifically Heliandist in nature. The Raionese generally share Hesperian attitudes, due to their proximity to Hesperia, and the Arfolan tend to adopt Veleslav perception, also due to their close proximity to Veleslavia. Foreigners tend to adopt either the general ”consider everything called and Alch an Alch”-stance or mimic Prutenian sentiments, as Prutenians tend to form the ethnolinguistic and cultural plurality of the Prut Meritocracy. However, it should be noted that the latter is not necessarily the correct stance to take, but merely the pragmatic one, and is adopted out of convenience.

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Regardless of personal preferences and cultural norms, the Alch has played important roles in the development of Prut-Heliandist societies., with a particular emphasis being on secular Alchs. The importance of the courthouse as the central institution of every settlement cannot be understated—whereas other societies typical erected a palace or chieftain’s residence first, or preferred to honour their myths and religious customs and built a temple or shrine, and after those expanded the settlements, Pruto-Heliandist settlements always started with the place where the people would meet and set policies and resolve disputes. The courthouse was the sacred place where personal issues would have to be set aside, privileges didn’t apply, and force wasn’t permitted; all equal, all sharing the same right and obligations, under the same sky. The Alch thus was a literal, physical manifestation of communal harmony, accord, and cooperation. Location and role were not the only way Alchs influenced their communities; far more often than not they were given also a utilitarian purpose and aesthetic role. Bell towers and later clock towers were common features, as well as artistic and decorative elements which heavily varied by historic periods, e.g. earlier Alchs having beautiful reliefs and mosaics, while later Alchs used expensive materials and unusual or neutral colours. Commonly urban courthouse-Alchs were more utilitarian, uniform in design and look, “block-y” and aesthetically minimalist and expressionist, while rural versions were smaller, often quite unique in design, and were built to enhance the surrounding landscape. Rural courthouses also frequently featured a garden or similar public park, while urban courthouses were far more likely to have been built next to the town square or market. Interestingly, despite rural and small town courthouses and townhouses outnumbering urban ones, most people and especially foreigners usually associate the urban designs more with the PM and Prut, as they are the first that come to mind.

Courthouses, while being the standard example of secular Alch, were by now means the only one. Generally any publically used building or facility could be considered and Alch, and depending on time period could and would have been considered such at some point. During the early modern era and somewhat before the first industrialisation period, almost every public building was considered an Alch. This turned out to be problematic and the notion was soon abandoned along with the previous penal system, and a stricter legal definition was instated for Alchs that is still used today. However, most people began to differentiate between a hard Alch and a soft Alch; hard Alch included all that were recognised as Alchs by law and some that were customarily considered so, while soft Alch became a term applied to a publically used space or building that needed certain social rules to function properly, but which wasn’t a Haruch or Weih. Hard Alchs also typically had a utilitarian, pragmatic role, in example in administration, communication, or transportation, while soft Alchs typically were places of relaxation and entertainment. Hard Alchs would include buildings and places like courthouses, townhouses, major motorways, town wells, bridges, canals, water reservoirs and aqueducts, even radio and tv towers, and in modern times also any buildings and equipment associated with the internet. Soft Alchs were places like public baths and restrooms, city parks (gardens are typically Weihs or Haruchs, although there’s considerable overlap), market squares, smaller streets, pedestrian zones, bus and train stations, harbours and airports, etc. Damages to hard Alchs were heavily penalised and once carried very harsh repercussions, e.g. during the Leopoldine era several centuries ago destruction of a well carried the penalty of death by terminal dehydration, collapsing a bridge was punishable by dismemberment, and damaging a canal would result in keelhauling or being drowned. Even today damages to Alchs or any crime being committed within an Alch usually carry a stricter penalty. In example, spraying graffiti on a residential building would probably be met with having to remove the work and painting the building again, while doing the same to the courthouse would also require payment of a fine and extended community service to reconcile with the community.

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Religious Alch were more important in earlier centuries and were gradually replaced by secular Alchs. Still, even today they fulfill many roles and are important for society. The primary function of religious Alchs is to be a place of refuge, commonly from the modern world, stress, hardship, or as a place of quiet, contemplation, introspection, and relaxation. Such sanctuaries are most often located far away from cities and major settlements, usually on mountains and in highlands areas, within or are part of nature preserves and natural parks, frequently close to lakes and springs, or on islands, or even in heavily forested areas and wilds. Isolation and a certain form of exclusion are often desirable features, and many such refuges purposely don’t or only have limited communication and access to communication with the outside world and lack many contemporary amenities and technology—although even the most isolated Alch has some form of reliable communication device for emergencies, like a radio station or landline telephone. Interestingly, such Alchs either don’t have electricity at all or use very independent solutions for electricity generation, varying from waterwheels and turbines, to wind turbines, to even high-tech solar panels. Often by necessity but also out of choice almost all such Alchs are self-sufficient in food production, being capable to at least sustain a small population and supply basic nutritional needs. Littoral, lacustrine, and riparian Alchs tend to fish or engage in aquaculture, montane ones tend to be pastoral, and sylvan types tend to practise hunting, while nearly have at least small scale subsistence agriculture. Such communities are usually very small, with most having around a hundred or less permanent inhabitants and few having more than four to perhaps five hundred. These Alchs also provide a valuable service to the public by assisting with wilderness preservation, and by helping hikers and wanderers, by participating in environmental maintenance efforts, like clean-ups, (re)forestation, etc., acting as landmarks and way stations for trails, and for spotting and controlling emergency situations, in example, by alerting authorities to forest fires, floods, avalanches, and similar events.

Stereotypically the inhabitants of religious Alchs are secluded world-weary “technophobic” types who eschew the modern world and life style, and while such strict, monastic Alchs and orders do exist, they are very few and far between. Religious Alchs tend to specialise in a certain activity, vocation, or craft, with membership being made primarily out of practitioners of said activity. Various types of artists, especially woodworkers, carvers, and fire art performers make up the bulk of Alch inhabitants. Similarly practitioners of various small crafts and folk arts can also be encountered, like traditional weavers, potters, smiths, fletchers, and others. Certain martial arts are preserved and cultivated in Alchs too, with emphasis on those that disappeared due to the introduction of the firearm and modern vehicles, e.g. archery, equestrianism, fencing and swordplay, various forms of contact sports and combat. Certain forms of performance art are also preserved in these institutions, like puppetry and puppet theatre, shadow play, ancient and classical singing and dancing, and some traditional games, sports, and customs. These Alchs also often act as open vocational schools that teach such crafts and skills to anyone interested, hence they are considered both as cultural and educational facilities and are assisted and protected as such. Some receive public funding as assistance, often in the form of a tax free status, or free water, electricity, or materials, but the majority of religious Alchs prefers to stay completely independent and self-sufficient and refuse public assistance. These Alchs tend to still accept private donations, in particular from current or former members or their students. Any money gained in such a manner is either used tu maintain or upgrade the Alch or is returned to the community in some public manner. In example, rich and successful Alchs sponsor public festivals or help fund various initiatives and buildings, or help pay for various useful services. Such activity is strictly monitored and regulated, to avoid conflicts of interest and unfair competition to legitimate businesses. Alchs have to remain non-profit organisations in order to maintain their tax-free status.

In terms of an Alchs extralegal status, it’s a remnant of monarchic times and it’s a socially and legally accepted form of privileges that has to follow strict rules. As mentioned, every Alch can be considered to enjoy legal extraterritoriality, with only natural laws being always applicable. Since Alchs are isolated communities, however, each has its own internal set of rules. Technically “divine” law is applicable in an Alch too, but under Pruto-Heliandist perception, this actually implies certain logical and rational customs, specifically the laws of hospitality, the laws of reciprocity, and the golden rule—act toward others how you want them to act toward you. Incidentally all three of these concepts are mentioned in the Prut constitution, although their use in Alchs precedes their use in the contemporary constitution by thousands of years. In short, the law of hospitality regulates the relationship between guest and host, and between two or more travellers , a set of concepts and customs which are very strictly observed in the Prut Meritocracy; the laws of reciprocity deal with consent and dissent, with the usual short explanation being that one consents to suffering everything upon oneself that one does to another, i.e. if you hit someone, you consent to be hit by everyone else, hence why it’s often called the law of awareness of consequences; the golden rule is self-explanatory and a similar concept exists in nearly every other culture. Residence in an Alch thus requires a certain emotional maturity, willingness to trust and cooperate, and a proclivity for rationality, calmness, and amiability. This explains why children and teenagers are not found in most Alchs; generally one is accepted into an Alch community only if one has served the mandatory two years in the military, or if the person in question is already mature and old, or otherwise an established person. In most other regards Alchs tend to be self-regulating communities. Secular Alch tend to cooperate with the authorities and law as a matter of both deliberate and rational policy, and by custom, while religious Alchs tend to maintain a more frontier mentality when it comes to repercussions and consequences. While yes, technically and legally speaking, there would be no consequences for members of an Alch committing any crime up to and including murder while it’s still within the recognised territory of the Alch, such a community would quickly lose its legal status and protection. The requirement for the before-mentioned maturity and rationality helps too. Offenders are usually warned, and on repeat transgressions are typically ignored, shunned, or even ostracised well before the situation escalates to the point of blood being spilled. Even in the most extreme of circumstances, the offender would be banished from the community first. In the context of secular Alchs, offenders could face house arrest or banishment as well, with exile being considered the harshest possible penalty.



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Postby Neo Prutenia » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:26 am

The Pruton dynasties are the former ruling kinship groups of the Pruton Empire, which enjoyed various degrees of political and social dominance four roughly two thousand and five hundred years in a system referred to as Dynastic governance. The Pruton dynasties were neither simply families nor strictly clans, but rather various matrilineal and matrilocal phratries. Current scholarly consensus is to recognise four main dynasties, in chronological order: the Albertines, the Leopoldines, the Rutgerites, and the Fredericians. Each of these is named after the regnal name of the ruling Basel — customarily each male co-ruler adopted this name when assuming his position, while the actual administration and power was in the hands of the Kwens, the real rulers. The Basels themselves were almost invariably direct, consanguineous descendants or siblings of the current Kwen, with the occasional adoptive son or very rarely husband being selected as Basel and bestowed with the name. Unlike the Basel, who once installed could expect to enjoy a stable position and rule, the Kwens were in constant struggles for power and competition. Within each dynasty several consanguineous clans, all descended from the same real or mythological ancestor — usually a maternal figure or legendary character — were maneuvering to achieve political dominance. All four recognised dynasties were also associated with a specific area and specific old Prutonic tribal group, although historic evidence suggest that only the Albertines can properly be linked to a specific tribe, the Prangers, while the other three almost certainly had unsubstantiated claims.

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The structure of a dynasty follows the structure of the usual Pruton-type extended family. Primarily it’s influenced by the social and cultural norms of matrilineality and matrilocality. The phratry was compromised of clans which were in turn compromised of single extended families, each based around a common female ancestor. The “family” as the lowest unit was the most fluid and temporal. A family was simply one female and all her offspring and brothers, or in slightly less cases a group of sisters and their offspring as well as all their brothers, which would be the normal extended family. A clan was a group of families loyal and consanguineous with a dominant local Kwen, usually the most powerful matron in the region. A clan was in structure little different than a large extended family, but it was a stable and permanent entity, with a clear founder and a clear lineage. The Kwen was also usually the main holder of a territory, so clans typically were a combination of lineage and land. With the gradual expansion and growth of families such clans either intermingled with others or split further after several generations, forming the phratries — which were the largest possible kinship groups. Phratries traced their lineage back to one apical ancestor, but their territorial mandate was larger. Within this system the family is a Broot, from Old Prutonic brōduz (brood, progeny, family), the clan was called a Kunne, from Old Prutonic kunją (kin, clan, or lineage), and the phratry is the Stamm, from Old Prutonic stamniz (tribe, phratry, origin, lineage, ancestry). The various families would thus coalesce into phratries with clans being the intermediate level. The dynasties would thus be just the top tier phratry within the system.

The territorial mandate was the main source of power, while the social and relational ties formed a valuable and extensive support and communication network. Naturally, since territory could not expand without external acquisition, and since the population and therefore size of kinship groups expanded exponentially, conflict over territory and control was inevitable. Actual physical conflict and open internal warfare between clans was the exception. But the larger phratries did feud with each other in a limited and regulated fashion. In most cases a diplomatic approach and intermarriage was the norm. A precedent for this was the custom of exogamy as practised by Prutons since ancient times. Within time a sort of sociopolitical equilibrium would be reached, and the exchange of husbands — akin to the exchange of wives in patriarchal societies — was seen as more favourable than further conflict. The Albertines happened to be the first major phratry and most efficiently organised tribal group up to that point, but the spontaneous formation of phratries continued well into the sixth and seventh century SH. After that point few real changes happened, and the territories that were claimed and organised by then remained in one form or another until the modern period with few exceptions.

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The Albertines ruled from 111 SH to 680 SH. The year 111 SH is used as a reference point since that was the year Baselborg, the old capital of the Pruton Empire, was founded. It ends with the death of the last Albertine Kwen in Pruton lands in 680 SH, in an event known as the Dance of Swartkliff. The actual rise of the Albertines started an estimated two decades prior, when their most prominent Kwens and clans managed to take control of the Pranger tribe and form a successful tribal kingdom in the northeast of contemporary Neo Prutenia. By all accounts this was the first confirmed Heliandist polity in history. In current literature this kingdom is referred to as “Prangern” and the region still bears that name. Adalberht the First-Crowned became the first Basel and founder of Baselborg — the modern spelling of the name is ‘Albert’. The powerbase of the Albertines was Prangern in the north and Baselborg in the centre of the Empire. For the most part, they enjoyed a stable rule and the empire developed steadily. By the end of their reign the population had grown to just above sustainment levels, roughly at the beginning of the seventh century SH, and the first major wave of urbanisation took place, mainly in the east and north of the empire. This in turn lead to the first competition between the cities and territorial magnates, a series of events that would prove to be unmanageable for the Albertines. Both urban development and their downfall were accelerated by Basel Gaisarik’s expedition to Western City States, in what is now modern Hesperia, during the 660s and 670s SH. The subsequent conquest and colonization attempt of the new territory caused unrest in the empire and the Albertines were eliminated and their remnants exiled to the colonies. The period between 680 SH and 688 SH is called the Interregnum, and it was characterized by savage open warfare between domestic factions. The Albertines had been steadily losing political support well since the 640s SH, and rival phratries were awaiting this opportunity. The recently established cities played a major role during the Interregnum conflict, many of which were by this point independent city-states in all but name.

In 688 SH the Leopoldines successfully wrestled control of the empire and would become the longest reigning Pruton dynasty, having ruled for about one thousand and two hundred years. It should be noted however that the term ‘Leopoldines’ is somewhat controversial among scholars since the dynasty itself was not with certainty one continual phratry and lineage — there’s a small but reasonably authentic body of historic evidence and records which indicate that the Leopoldines were several factions working together with the dominant clans and families shifting in positions of power, while each currently dominate faction retaining the regnal name ‘Leopold’. Supporters of this theory point to the Johannite interruption as evidence, a period between 1230 SH and 1601 SH when the regnal name shifted from ‘Leopold’ to ‘Leopold Johann’, alluding to a change in the dynastic structure. The Leopoldines at large were based in the north and east, in particular along the basin of the river Ren, and they cooperated closely with the free cities that had formed in the empire, in an attempt to decouple themselves from regional nobles and territory-based wealth. The Leopoldines maintained a form of thalassocracy and derived their wealth from commerce, in particular by holding exclusive rights to the Pruton sea and by taxing Pelagic maritime trade. The Leopoldine period is noted for its great number of extensive and monumental public building projects, the first of this kind in Prutenian history. The Baselwege, or imperial highways, were constructed during this period, parts of which still exist even today. The wealth of Leopoldines waxed and waned with the trade winds and general commerce, which made their rule unstable in the long term. During favourable periods the Leopoldines enjoyed strong support, but during lean years or war periods they had to resort to unpopular measures like increased taxation which irked other factions and led to small scale revolts and conflicts. The frequency of these conflicts increased after the 1400s SH and the Leopoldines gradually lost their power; similar to the Albertines they were outcompeted by the rising cities in the northeast, while they lost the support of the western half of the empire. A lasting legacy of the Leopoldines is the founding of Königssteen, one of the current capitals, early in their reign.

The next great dynasty were the Rutgerites who remained the dominant force from 1888 SH to 2138 SH. The rise of the Rutgerites was very interesting, since they were removed from the traditional heartland of the Prutenian. They were a western Pruton group, from the same stock that would one day become the Mesonyktians. The Rutgerites gathered support by being the politically least feared faction, as many of their contemporaries severely underestimated them. They were considered a ‘save option’ which could potentially be easily controlled by others. With their holdings in the far west and south, they were both save from the conflicts in the middle and eastern empire and not forced to rely on good relations with the eastern cities. In contrast to the Leopoldines the Rutgerites were a strict tellurocracy and field a substantial cavalry-based force which they trained and supported with the vast western estates. Political support, an independent economic base, and a strong military capacity allowed them to triumph in the end. The Rutgerites are often unnecessarily maligned in contemporary culture and literature, mainly because of their introduction of feudalism to the Pruton Empire, abandonment of foreign trade and diplomacy, and letting the empire decentralise to a point of near dissolution; this is largely unfair. The Rutgerites were very astute and austere rulers and quite capable and shrewd administrators. Their reign was marked by a period of continual empire-wide cultural growth and cultivation, the beginning of the first ‘national’ identity, literature, and culture and a break with previous regionalism and local patriotism. The Rutgerites can be credited for expanding the influence of the then High Prut dialect into contemporary Neo Prutenia, particularly Vineta, which in turn influenced and triggered several waves of linguistic revolutions and standardisations. The lackadaisical attitude toward trade and cities allowed the formation and growth of the Prut Hanse, the inception of which was during the waning period of the Leopoldines. The same Hanse would become another factor in cultural unification, as this at first simple league of towns would become the preeminent socioeconomic force of the empire, and the now cooperating cities controlled all trade and commerce all over the empire. And the Rutgerite reign was the most stable, with the least amount of revolt and unrest, despite the same cycles of frequent plagues, pests, famines, and other disasters that shocked every other society of that period.

The Rutgerites’s power and influence diminished over the generations and they ended up as figureheads in a now mostly diffuse if nominally united empire. This gave the Fredericians an opportunity to take over. The Frederician takeover was curious and anomalous, compared not only to all previous ones but also the general manner in which power shifted during the period of dynastic governance. Their founder was a prominent and quite capable male, Fredereck of Vineta. His rise was similar to the one of Albert in the early second century. The Fredericians were also the first and only phratry that wasn’t either a lineage from an ancient tribal group nor did they control a territory per se; the Fredericians were an urban dynasty. They had a structure and organisation comparable to the Hanse, being the most prestigious and influential group within a guild society of weapon manufacturers, specifically swords, firearms, and cannons in their case, although today the Fredericians are mostly remembered as sword smiths and excellent swordfighters. On average the Fredericians were better educated and enjoyed far higher literacy rates than any other major group, they were very efficient, ruthless, and determined, and sported some of the most distinguished individuals within their ranks the Prutenian had yet seen. In a combination of hard power, strategic political marriages and adoptions, clandestine assassinations, and a streak of luck, the Fredericians took over in 2138 SH and would essentially rule until 2608 SH. Unlike their predecessors, the Fredericians turn out to be ambitious and irreverent to the norms and customs of the dynastic system; they were absolutists to the core. This mean streak in their character might have come from the fact that the Fredericians started in the nineteenth century SH as a militant monastic order headquartered in an Alch close to Vineta. They were also renown established assassins and fighters well before their rise. The Fredericians had a simple and generally benign approach of mutual profit with everyone who cooperated with them, being willing to be a lesser partner in any transaction, with the standard norm being a 4:6 ration in favour of the other party. Since they sought to influence and cooperate with everyone, they had a strong capacity to be the single most power faction overall. They also had no tolerance for rivals, being utterly unscrupulous in their elimination. They were also shrewd enough to know how to avoid a general uprising, by paying and treating their supporters well and by funding various public projects and programmes, similar to the Leopoldines. They pursued and even sometimes emulated the Rutgerites and their policies in times of upheaval and disasters. The Frederician period thus had fewer and briefer internal feuds, but all of them were far more intensive and deadly. Their reign ended during the War of Siblings, as their worst fear — a national uprising everywhere and the same time — happened. They neither managed to adapt to the new circumstances nor were their methods effective in addressing the major sociopolitical and economic issues that had developed over the centuries and the uneven distribution of wealth, resoruces, population, and power in the Pruton Empire. Today there’s still two branches of the Fredericians alive and well and active, both having renounced any monarchic claims in 2648 SH and 2650 SH respectively.


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Postby Neo Prutenia » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:18 am

A Kleruch, also Klerch, Klerche, Kleruchie, Kleruchei or Klerg, from Old Pelasgian klēroukhía, cognate with Old Prutonic hlutą and haldaną (approximately lot-holder, or plot-holder) is a type of hold or plot in a foreign territory or jurisdiction that is considered extraterritorial and is settled by Prut or foreigners. It’s closely related to the concept of Alch and could be broadly regarded as a ‘Alch in another land’, especially if it’s within a non-heliandist society. Comparable analogues in other societies might be cleruchies, legates/embassies, concessions, colonies, or military bases. Strictly speaking Prut tend to assign the term Kleruch to embassies, outposts, and military bases, either Prut ones in foreign territories or foreign ones within Prut territory. Thus a Kleruch has a primarily diplomatic and/or military role. The commercial and cultural equivalent is a Kontor. While a Kleruch typically has the implication of residence, that is it contains a residential population of Prut (or foreigners), it’s not usually regarded as a permanent settlement, nor a fixed plot, although it can theoretically be one. In colloquial use an area with a significant number of foreign residents would be called a Kleruch by Prut. In official parlance however a Kleruch has to be legally established by treaty, usually in a bilateral treaty by two interested parties.

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Kleruchs form the basis of Prut diplomacy and foreign relations. The concept itself is usually compatible with already present and established international customs regarding embassies and extraterritoriality; the main issues and controversies are the legal mechanisms and regulations in the interaction between states and non-states. Without Kleruchs interaction would be problematic, since the majority of polities are states in one way or another and diplomatic immunity is typically derived from state immunity, concepts that the Prut Meritocracy does not necessarily abide by or recognise. The PM not being a state society these mechanisms and protections wouldn’t technically speaking be available, or at least couldn’t be reciprocated appropriately. The Kleruch is thus used as a convenient solution to avoid such problems. While the de jure regulations and definitions can vary, de facto a Kleruch and its residents enjoy extraterritoriality. The host polity agrees to cede some control (i.e. jurisdiction) and refrain from unilaterally exercising certain rights (e.g. right to enter at will for law enforcement purposes, etc), while retaining sovereignty over the actual territory. Likewise the ‘guest’, i.e. the Kleruch will operate within the limits of the treaty that established it. These limits typically include some form of registration and vetting process for the residents, certain legal immunities, and joint mediation in cases of breaches of the treaty, often in the form of a tribunal.

A proper Kleruch is typically small, often limited to a single building or complex, sometimes with a garden or park, and has a pre-established, publically known purpose, e.g. acting as a HQ for Prut diplomats, etc. The number of residents is also usually very small and limited, in most cases numbering only in the lower to mid “tens”, typically twenty to forty, depending on how much staff is needed for the particular purpose the Kleruch was founded for. Kleruchs also act as sanctuaries and safe zone for Prut citizens in foreign territories, basically identical to the same role played by embassies between states. The vice versa is also true; foreigners in Prut sovereign territory can expect the same degree of safety in another polity’s Kleruch. Protection from harassment by authorities and locals, and to a certain degree also protection from surveillance by the same, are also typical functions. Depending on agreement a Kleruch may or may not fly the colours of the ‘guest’; similarly a Kleruch may or may not have armed guards, although it will almost certainly have some form of internal security force, typically a team of bodyguards or security officers. In many cases a Kleruch is just a plot of land that is leased on a permanent or semi-permanent basis (depending on the wording of the treaty) with the actual building/residence being purpose built after securing a lease. Typically this will then take the form of a small gated community. Some arrangements stipulate that an already existing building or facility will be turned into a Kleruch. How exactly the Kleruch looks like physically can vary significantly, even to the point that each Kleruch can be considered to be unique.

If possible a Kleruch will be registered similar to a company or business, and its internal operations are very much like those of any white-collar office. The chief executive officer of a Kleruch is a Klerlaid, often informally called a ‘K-lai’ (kah-lai) or colloquially ‘Kleid’ (meaning ‘dress’). Administrative staff are referred to as Klermaat, a registered resident is a Klergast (i.e. Kler-guest). The security is typically the Klerschutz or Klerwache. The actual administration and everyday operations of the Kleruch are performed by the Klermaat-s, while the Klerlaid acts as a chief executive when necessary and typically just represents the Kleruch in communication and negotiations with local authorities and external parties. The Klerlaid is also the main mediator and judge in case of disputes between the residents. The everyday business of a Kleruch is communication, acting as a liaison, information gathering, processing, and archiving as well as dissemination (data from the host is gathered, data from the guest is spread to relevant parties), legal counsel and support for its charges, e.g. non-Kleruch Prut citizens abroad, other diplomatic services, and to provide answers to any local inquiries, e.g. questions of private individuals of the host polity. Often Kleruchs will run a newspaper in the local language and distribute it locally, usually free of charge. A Kleruch can also act as neutral grounds and/or a third party mediator. If the premises are big enough and/or the Kleruch-building has the proper facilities, it can also host certain diplomatic and cultural events, e.g. galas, dinners, celebrations, and even some smaller festivals. Generally speaking, a Kleruch has to be a non-profit organisation and they required to be run as such, but it can have some local income (e.g. from selling newspapers, legal fees for providing counsel, etc) to help co-finance its budget. Such activity is strictly regulated by the Prut Diplomatic Service, as the Kleruch has to be depended on the Prut budget for funding to ensure loyalty and combat corruption.

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Kleruchs come in several possible categories: by origin they are Prut Kleruchs (typically just called Kleruch) or foreign ones, called Waalskleruch; by function they are diplomatic (e.g. embassies, legates, liaisons, etc), military (e.g. overseas bases, outposts, garrisons, etc), or other (e.g. extraterritorial settlements and enclaves/exclaves, colonies, special zones, various types of internment camps, etc). A now defunct categorisation is active and historic; all currently registered Kleruchs are considered active. The term ‘historic’ is not a legal term, but a cultural one. It refers to former Kleruchs which grew into either proper settlements or just became part of the host city, either by gradual expansion or by reorganization of the city (sometimes necessitating a re-negotiation of the treaty, in order to found a new Kleruch). Often such settlements have the word “Kleruch” or a variation of it in their name, e.g. Kräklerg (now a district in Bela Luka, realm of Veleslavia), Kuleruko (Raionese pronunciation of ‘Kleruch’, now a museum in Raionkyo, realm of Raion no kuni), etc.

The majority of Kleruchs are diplomatic in nature and function, which earned them to moniker ’anarchist embassy’ in youth culture.

Nations hosting Prut Kleruchs include: Kaitjan


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Last edited by Neo Prutenia on Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:23 pm

The Lieblich calendar, also known as the Hanseatic calendar, Traders’ calendar, and others regional varieties, is the contemporary version of the Old Prutonic and/or Heliandist calendar(s). While the former versions were quite widespread in the Pelagic region, the Lieblich calendar has officially only been adopted by the Prut Meritocracy. It is a standardised form of various lunisolar and solar calendars that were common in previous eras. It was named after the city of Lieblich in honour of the city hosting a congress of astronomers, navigators, military leaders, and scientists who agreed on the current form in 2645 SH. The Lieblich calendar remained in common use in Neo Prutenia and later the Prut Meritocracy and was gradually spread abroad over the Kontor system.

The Lieblich calendar is a perennial calendar that observes the true motion of the sun and tropical year, similar to other solar calendars, and it has a 364 days long year. Leap days are handled via intercalation. Two days are considered epagomenal — the southern spring equinox, which marks the time between years (while extracalendrical, it’s often considered the first day of the new year), and a leap day added every four years. The leap day is always after the southern spring equinox. Sometimes another epagomenal day may be added to readjust the calendar with the tropical year, again always after the southern spring equinox. The Lieblich calendar has 13 months based around lunar cycles, although not perfectly following two successive syzygies. All 13 months have exactly 28 days, subdivided into four weeks of seven days each. A LC month corresponds roughly to a anomalistic month, with the annual and monthly phases of the moon denoted on the calendar with various symbols. A calendar day is 24 hours long, and the year officially always starts on the same date. i.e. epagomenal days are ignored. The date is written as d/w/mm/yyyy, i.e. day-week-month-year. Every week, month, and year starts on the same day, all days are completely parallel in every year, e.g. 2/4/11/ - is always Werdedag (day) – Leerwoch (week) – Fagelmaand (month), regardless of the year. This would also always be the 303th day of the year, every year. Hence days can only be numbered 1 to 7, weeks 1 to 4, months 1 to 13, and years use the SH reference point. There are four annual seasons, but they are not necessarily recorded on the calendar, although many use differently coloured pages or specific images to depict the seasons.

Since the Lieblich calendar was developed in the southern hemisphere the southern spring equinox is used as the main reference point for the passing of time. The autumnal equinox and the summer and winter solstices are also referenced, and they mark the change in seasons. In areas with tepid climate conditions and in the southern hemisphere the four seasons are the same; areas in the northern hemisphere would experience them in reverse, e.g. the southern spring in the northern autumn. Each season lasts roughly ninety to ninety-one days or around thirteen weeks. The classic names for the season are Lenten (sping), Berten (summer), Arnten (autumn), and Wenten (winter), although different cultures use their own name variant. The classic names are modern derivatives of Old Prutonic terms combining an adjective and the archaic term for “day”, tīnaz, specifically langatīnaz or long days for spring, berhtatīnaz or bright days for summer, arantīnaz or harvest days for autumn, and windǫ̂tīnaz or windy/wet days for winter. The –tīnaz suffix in this case should probably be interpreted as “period” or “time” rather than the literal “days”. Lenten is colour-coded with ecru or similar light brown tones, Berten is amber or various shades of gold or yellow, Arnten is coloured carnelian or other nuances of red, and Wenten is represented by ash grey or slate grey or similar hues from the blue-grey range.

The thirteen months are named after staple foods and related agricultural concepts, specifically those that are preponderant in a given month. While the calendar was standardised by learned men, it’s is highly likely that the old nomenclature familiar to commoners was preferred over any form of intellectualisation, aureation, or other former of obscurantism, likely to increase acceptance for and ease the spread of the calendar. All months also have the –maand suffix as part of their name, from Old Prutonic mēnōþs; in this context month refers to a lunar month or cycle. In succession they are: Maalmaand (feast-month), Ramsmaand (onion-month), Breemaand (stew-month), Harnmaand (herring-month), Aaftmaand (fruit-month), Evermaand (boar-month), Saalmaand (salt-month), Getreedmaand (grains-month), Seuermaand (vinegar-month), Raukmaand (smoking-month), Fagelmaand (bird-month), Karpmaand (carp-month), and Bröhmaand (broth-month). These are the modern Low Prut names, and there are many regional varieties and differences, e.g. the dialectal Dorschmaand (cod-month) instead of Harnmaand, as cod is far more common in western Neo Prutenia. Both the Hesperian and Veleslav names are calques from the original Prutonic names, with some substitutions for local flora and fauna, e.g. Пастрвман (roughly “trout-month”) for Karpmaand in Veleslavia, due to trout being the local winter fish, Vimes (literally “wine-month”) for Seuermaand in Hesperia, etc. Raionese and Arfolan names tend to follow Hesperian and Veleslav customs respectively. Internationally the standardised Low Prut names as established in Lieblich in 2645 SH are used in all non-local and/or intercommunal communication.
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Congress of Lieblich (2645 SH)

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Weeks and days still bear their old Heliandist names; specifically, weeks are named after common rotes for skill acquisition, a process considered sacred among Heliandists, and days are named after the six Heliandist virtues plus an appreciation day. Like seasons and months, weeks and days also have obvious suffixes, -woch for weeks, from Old Prutonic wikǭ, and -dag, from Old Prutonic dagaz, here in the meaning of “period of 24 hours” rather than the classical “daylight time”. The weeks are Lernwoch (learning-week), Ovenwoch (practice-week), Wirkwoch (exercise-week), and Leerwoch (teaching-week) — the “teaching” part in the name referring both to demonstrating the learned or instructing someone else. Naturally, the names of the week influence cultural norms and practices greatly, e.g. the Prut education system uses them as a tool for teaching, and many training programmes base their schedules on the calendar weeks. The days are called Rededag (Integrity-day), Werdedag (dignity-day), Beherrsdag (discipline-day), Flinkdag (competence-day), Slaudag (slyness-day), Hauchdag (Inspiration-day), and Littdag (brilliance-day). The day names also play a significant cultural and social role, e.g. it’s considered very inauspicious to shirk a virtue during its name day. Many public investitures for offices or private promises and oaths are taken on Rededag, while artists like to reveal their newest works on Hauchdag, etc.

The predecessor of the Lieblich calendar was designed by a military officer from the Silverbond during the mid-stages of the War of Siblings (2608 SH to 2648 SH), most likely during the late 20s, which was then still a solar calendar based on the tropical year. It was in use by segments of the eastern military in the 30s and 40s. The official adoption on 3/3/12/2645 SH was a war time measure, done during the late winter, in order to prepare and better organise and coordinate the spring and summer campaigns of the following year. The unusual choice to create a perennial calendar with thirteen months is often explained within the context of the final stages of the war; it was an organisational and logistical necessity. In particular since it allows very precise timing and planning and reliable cross-referencing. Naming the months after agricultural practices is often explained as a nod to the soldiery, as the Silverbond army was mostly made out of conscripted commoners and burghers, but this is a false etymology. The names of the months have existed and been used centuries prior. They were however based on the local names typically used in eastern and northeastern contemporary Neo Prutenia, where all the Silver cities and the majority of the population lived.


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Postby Neo Prutenia » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:59 am

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Eld, also Elid, Elda or Eeld, from Old Prutonic ailidaz (fire, pyre) is a social and cultural concept and abstract term that is difficult to translate or define without some loss—the basic meaning would be approximately ‘current sum experience of the past impact of an individual on society and the world’. It is a form of social capital within Prut society, similar to influence but in inverse; how much an individual has been shaped by their pull and actions in society, the consequences and results of said actions, and the reflection on personal identity, impact, and character. Eld is often explained as a combination of reputation, experience, influence, self-perception, and worth; the term itself, while often considered a type of virtue, is ambivalent, and the meaning often shifts with the perspective of the speaker and the context. In most cases people understand Eld in a colloquial, Heliandist, and/or psychological sense, with significant overlap between each of those; the usual commonality between interpretations is that Eld designates some particular mark made or being made by a particular individual. A common simplification of the rather nuanced concept—often used to explain it to children or foreigners—would be: ”The part of you that cannot be seen, yet is known by everyone else—felt, witnessed, or intuited. And old saying reduces it to ’ones brand upon the world’.

The word itself is very old and has been attested since early Prutenian written records. The original meaning was a specific form of fire, most likely a type of wildfire (forest fires or veld fires), fire caused by lightning, or some other type of uncontrollable open flame. The term was gradually replaced by the more common ‘Füür/Feuer’, the generic term for any type of fire, while Eld took on more specific meanings. The word was salvaged and adopted by early Heliandists during the Albertine era, when it was frequently used in allegories and parables, setting the precedent for later metaphorical and figurative uses. In this sense, Eld became a poetic term for a person, someone that wanders through nature like a fire and leaves its mark—if said movement was destructive, creative, or transformative, was left to the interpretation of the user.

Eld as an abstract cultural term originates in the literary circles of 17th to 21st century SH Vineta, first again as a religious term and later becoming more prominent in secular literature, in particular biographies, rural poetry, and historic epics. It became popularised during the 22nd to 24th century period of urban educative and entertainment literature, where it migrated to theatre and visual arts. Interestingly, the term fell into disuse during most the 25th century, only to be resurrected in its last decade and establishing itself as a widely recognised sociocultural concept and phenomenon by the 26th and 27th century, mostly due to the effects of the War of Siblings and the spread of the printing press.


Fire never lies, never hides; where it goes it always leaves its mark. Just as fire brands its path on everything it touches, so does a person. A person cannot undo the mark they left on the world same way a fire’s trace on a pristine plain can’t be undone. Once the grass has been blackened and soil’s been covered in ash, it’s done, it’s irrevocable. Same acts the sword; once steel bites flesh and tastes blood, the hewing can’t be retracted, the impact's there. Or the ink; once the quill’s painted over the parchment, it cannot be erased. As we recognise the work of fire, sword, or feather, we recognise the work of a person. The fire is what it burns, the sword is what it hews, the quill is what it paints, the person is what they do.

- chronicler Answald of Haudorp-Vineta


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As quotes above by Answald, Eld was used as a metaphor for a life path, a simile that is still very much employed. Within the specific context of Prut literature it had an instructive and exemplar, even explanatory role—showing that a person is essentially only the sum of every deed they ever did, disregarding any sort of “inner” world. While seemingly superficial, this interpretation of personhood and even identity largely shaped Pruto-Heliandist pre-industrial culture, and its effects are still very much felt today. In this mindset, ‘life’ is not a biological term, but a complex summation of previous choices and current activity, devoid of intent, that defines everything a person is; thus a person is the net result of every decision ever made. While religious in origin and nature, this particular interpretation seeped into secular thinking as well and had considerable influence, and later caused much controversy. This attitude and Weltanschauung was often critiqued and contested, in particular by rationalists, various post-industrial thinkers, and deontological philosophers. The philosopher Fechter contested it particularly harshly:

The ideas of our forebears are ridiculous given current sentiments and understanding—and even before, they were a method of social control. What about all the decisions I didn’t make, all the actions I didn’t take—don’t those define me far more? I’m neither a clockwork mechanism acting according to some divine plan or purpose, nor a reactive beast of naked instinct; I think, I ponder, I compare, and I occasionally both err and do right, but often I do naught at all. And more than that, I do differently, uniquely what is me, even if I do what others did. There is no one truth or one interpretation to any act, for there’s no two of us, as alike as we may be, that share the same angle of perception. There’s no objectivity, divine or otherwise. Each of us builds their own perception, their own subjective reality and understanding, that exists independently of each other—all of them entirely invisible, unobservable and within—and we act according to these latent traits of our character. We are thus what we do in the dark.

- thinker Godleub Fechter


Fechter’s critiques encouraged more nuanced views on the importance of Eld in the later centuries, but the concept retained its prominence in the cultural psyche. While far more radical thinkers than Fechter rejected Eld and tried to abandon it and encouraged others to do so, the Eld-concept only further developed. The modern imagining is more often than not a form of reputation, even honour, dignity, or gravitas a person radiates. Prior to Fechter and his followers, there were two Elds—Bateld and Baleld; good Eld and bad Eld. After them, Eld became subjective, and even individual. The “hidden” part of a person’s being, which included both instincts, thoughts, and as Fechter put it—everything not done by someone—became incorporated into the Eld. Sometimes these elements were interpreted as the fuel for Eld(i.e. motivation), sometimes as the smoke (i.e. a result of Eld), or they were assigned less evocative, metaphoric, or esoteric designations, e.g. Verhelltes (lit. translation: the thing obscured by brightness). Despite reactionary attitudes at various intervals in Prut cultural history, the attitudes about individual Eld is currently preponderant. Typically, individual Eld is still described within the Bat/Bal- Eld framework, with the caveat that a “good”, or rather dignified, respectable, exemplary, and desirable Eld is referred to as Litteld (lit. trans. beautiful-fire) while the exact opposite would be Eggeld (lit. trans. ugly-fire or disgusting-fire or even yucky-fire).

Within Prut cultural circles and groups developing ones Eld is considered important. The concept of Eld is inseparably tied to ethics, morality, and health in the Prutosphere; personal interpretation is encouraged and tolerated, with the understanding that there’s no “wrong” Eld. However, the reasoning is also that no sane person wants to cultivate an ugly Eld, so a certain element of conformity and compliance is always present and implied. Eld as a part of morality is integrated into the psyche, but the elements and tenets of said morality are not. Respecting the Eld of others is generally a requirement, and most Prut learn to adopt a live-and-let-live attitude. To illustrate this point, two individuals might hold diametrically opposed views on any topic, e.g. charity—one person might consider it always appropriate and adopt altruism and generosity as part of his Eld; the other might consider it always wrong, and adopt pragmatism and thriftiness as his default stance. While either could argue the other being wrong, such conflict would be pointless; rather, they would show it through their Eld (in the sense of reputation)—in this case, the opposition in attitude can be explained as the stance on and interpretation of how and when to help others.

The altruist might argue that helping is desirable and that giving those with less is a net positive for society; it enables others to survive and live, it alleviates crime and poverty, it increases overall happiness, it increases personal satisfaction, and fosters a feeling of positivity and responsibility. The pragmatic from the example might argue that helping is conditional and that giving freely is a net negative; it makes others dependable, it discourages trying to improve their personal situation, it puts the giver at unnecessary risk, it increases abuse and corruption, creates perverse incentives, and ultimately results in hollow accomplishments, never addressing the causes of needing charity. Within these two attitudes, the altruist would prefer to give someone a fish; the pragmatic would prefer to teach them how to fish.

In the same context, neither stance is considered wrong; what the observer feels and concludes is left to them to decide, same as the individuals involved. A beautiful Eld would be the one that’s interpreted as reasonable, dignified, and consistent; the pragmatic would be considered beautiful in his Eld if they ‘taught others how to fish’, i.e. helped people no longer needing charity; in example, by offering them work, helping people get in rehabilitation programmes, supporting training and educative facilities, groups, and programmes, or by starting community-oriented projects. Likewise, the altruist might be considered to possess an ugly Eld if they help for selfish reasons, such as to boost their image, or show off, or delight in another’s misery and them being in a position of power, lording over others and essentially abusing them in some manner. How one’s Eld is perceived is determined by one’s actions primarily, and motivation secondarily, and by the result as a close third. Hence why there’s not really a right or wrong Eld; it’s all about the impact and results.

This is also the reason why personal interpretation is encouraged—in the above scenario, the pragmatist would teach the person in need of charity how to fish, while the altruist would give them a fishing rod. Both kinds of people are needed for a society to function, and learning to understand and work with different attitudes and the people espousing them is important and quintessential for success. This can be ultimately applied to any virtue or any two opposed values. Likewise, such modern attitudes about Eld foster and nurture interdependence, and this aspect of Eld is also taught to children. Another saying related to that is: ”Eld is the fire we radiate to keep each other warm; it’s the light we radiate to dispel darkness.”


Eld in Heliandism

In Heliandism the concept of Eld is one of the core concepts of the belief system and philosophy. It’s commonly used in parables and analogies, in particular fire analogies, and within the canon and dogma it’s also the aspect of identity and being that is analogous with the concept of “souls” in other belief systems and philosophies. Or rather, it’s why and how Heliandists reject the concept of a “soul” and embrace the concept of Eld. In Heliandism, there’s no divine other nor an afterlife, nor states of being like “paradise” and “hell”; the afterlife is but an afterthought. Instead, there is one Eld, inseparable from one’s being, distinct, intrinsically personal, and its impact can be seen, felt, and known. Compared to secular attitudes, where the Eld is a part of one’s life, in Heliandism there’s no clear distinction—life and Eld are one and the same, and there’s one life, one Eld, and only one.

Heliandism still likes to maintain the old nomenclature; calling desirable and undesirable Eld still Bateld and Baleld. The two major Heliandist Redactions, Orthodox Heliandism and Silver Heliandism generally maintain modern attitudes and interpretations, with the Orthodox leaning slightly to past attitudes and accentuating the deeds done by people, while the Silver Heliandists tend to lean more to the hidden aspects of one’s being and tend to encourage a more holistic approach to Eld. Some smaller groups and minor cults can maintain regressive and reactionary attitudes, but those are very small and negligible.


Eld in psychology

The Eld concept has also been adopted by Prut psychologists and the mental health community, which deems it useful for therapy. Eld is in particular useful in group therapy and counseling, and the term is frequently used in situation where identity and self-realisation plays a role.

More often than not, Eld is a term related to metanoia, both conceptually and as part of the healing process. Prut patients tend to respond well to the Eld concept in cases of abuse, humiliation, or similar identity crises and related stress; realising one’s own control of one’s Eld is an important first step for many Prut patient during therapy.


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Postby Neo Prutenia » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:59 am

Kor, also Koros, Kaur, or Koor, from Old Prutonic kuruz (‘heavy’, in the sense of ‘serious’ or ‘grave’, not in the sense of ‘large mass’) is a Pruto-Heliandist term for a specific form of Heliandist practice; a Kor is a practicing learned Heliandist who eschews monastic and/or ascetic isolation, hesychasm, and/or Alch-living, and instead opts to live and support his community directly as an active participant in everyday live, work, and duty. While this definition would technically apply to every Heliandist not living permanently in an Alch, the Kor is distinguished by their dedication to Heliandist teachings, free advocacy of Heliandism and related lifestyles, and practical application of their philosophy’s tenets and precepts. Kors are typically itinerants—although rarely mendicants—travelling from community to community providing various services first, and acting as advocates second. The lifestyle of a Kor usually revolves around fully embracing Heliandism and applying and practicing it in the ‘real world’, as opposed to supposedly passive study in an Alch. Still, Kors consider Alch people to be complementary practitioners to their own lifestyles. Due to their frequent travels and knowledge, Kors often act as mediators, neutral parties, and spiritual, legal or other advisers.

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Kor executed by fire
The etymology of the word ‘Kor’ indicates their early role. The Kors were the first ’serious’ practitioners of Heliandism. Both their role and their knowledge was ‘heavy’, in the sense of a heavy burden. Kors were required to be literate; they spread the Vineta script, they advocated for Heliandism and Heliandists, they spread knowledge, news, messages, kept communities in touch, and ultimately they were a living link with Vineta, back then the major global centre of Heliandism. Due to this Kors were often targeted and murdered by local petty chiefs and warlords. In particular the spread of the Vineta script and the Old Prutonic runes starting to be discarded irked local religious leaders—various shamans and old priests, who felt threatened by the new script and knowledge. Kors that didn’t manage to dodge pursuers or avoid persecutors would be seized and executed, generally without a real trial. In the early days a summary execution on the spot was employed, but with the growth of Heliandism more elaborate methods and scare tactics would be utilized—execution by burning is nowadays considered the standard practice by old believers, as depicted in many works of art and cultural artefacts. In fact, the Heliandist taboo on using fire to murder hails from this era and is very typical for Prutenians, and somewhat atypical for other Heliandists who didn’t experience this early persecution.

Nevertheless Kors did their duty admirably, regardless of danger. Both the gravity of their work as well as their serious attitudes helped convince many to embrace Heliandism themselves. Kors would enjoy mostly free and safe travel from the 200s SH onward, disregarding other environmental or social hazards. The typical Kor, however, is not a folk hero of the persecution era; more than anything a Kor is a preceptor, a teacher, and an adviser. Kors travelled from community to community spreading news, knowledge, technology, and ideas. Kors would become the first criers, postmen, messengers, and heralds, even spies and informants, of the early Pruton Empire. The Albertine Dynasty would rely on Kors as their information network extensively well into the 500s and 600s SH. Kors, as travelling learned men, would also act as itinerant judges and mediators—solving disputes, mending quarrels in the tradition of the Heliand, and castigating wrongdoers.


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A late Leopoldine Kor depicted as a scholar
As the complexity of Pruton society grew over time, the various roles the Kors played were slowly taken over by others; durng the Leopoldine Dynasty there was already a public post service in place and the administration would rely on their own dedicated personnel to maintain communication. The Ord of Preceptors also hails from this period, having largely replaced Kors as public teachers, with the various Alchs that had pullulated across the Empire increasing availability of education and instruction. Still, Kors stuck to their peripatetic ways—their role shifted to a local one. The Leopoldine Kors became traders, navigator, skilled itinerant craftsmen, but also peddlers, entertainers, and couriers, particularly in remote areas seldom accessed by the officials. Increasingly, Kors practised their lifestyles on sea and rivers, in deep woods, or in the mountainous areas. Some even went abroad. Regardless of their contemporary role, Kor stayed active advocated and practitioners of Heliandism, at home or abroad, and they continued being teachers, advisers, and mentors wherever they went.

The Rutgerite era was a renewed efflorescence of the Kor, with the reduction in the size and scope of the state apparatus and the de-urbanisation of large parts of the Empire. This would be the autumn period of the classical Kor, before the change of times and attitudes would change them as well, and rather soon. By the 2400s and the rise of the Fredericians, the number of Kors had severely declined. Kors became travelling experts and professionals, proto-scientists and researchers, scholars, collectors of books, works, and knowledge, great migrant craftsmen and artists, moving from court to court and place to place. Some embraced the Frederician teachings, becoming the first martial Kors, those that would later become martial artists and showmen, mercenaries, and even assassins. Others stayed true to their roots and continued aiding the underprivileged and poor. Especially in rural areas Kors were a valuable ally against corruption and oppression of the local courts and judges.

During the republican and current era Kors would continue to thrive, in many forms. Kors still prominently participate in dispute solution and arbitration, act as philosophers and teachers, and many still are artists and researchers; of course, they remain the heaviest advocates of Heliandism still. Modern Kors tend to have an additional requirement—they learn a trade or craft, in addition to learning about Heliandism. Many modern Kors who aren’t fan-supported artists or sponsored scientists are simple itinerant migrant workers, handymen, repairmen, or entertainers. This trade is used to support themselves—there is still a big taboo on begging or relying on altruism, both being considered as too passive in Kor perception. A Kor has to act. While Kor numbers compared to the rest of the citizenry are proportionally far smaller today than in any other period in Pruto-Heliandist history, the real number of Kors has increased quite a bit, and various individual Kors come in hundreds of walks of life and work in many professions. The internet has changed the life of Kors in interesting and particular ways; more often than not, if a prominent and recognised Kor wants to finance a project, they turn to crowd-funding with good results.

While it started in the mid-Frederician period and became prominent during the early Hanseatic period, a custom among Kors is not to refer to themselves as ‘Kors’; rather the term ‘Kor’ is used as a honorific and is added to the actual profession of a Kor. A Kor who happened to be a painter would thus refer to themselves as being a ‘painter-kor’, a Kor who was a traveling dentist would likewise be a ‘dentist-kor’ and so forth. This custom is still maintained; any serious Kor would adhere to it as a matter of pride. Non-Kors should typically respect this custom and refer to the Kor in question by their chosen designation, but this is neither enforced nor strictly adhered to, e.g. a known Kor is often just referred to as simply ‘Kor’, without malice or disrespect, or vice versa, a famous musician is more likely going to be called ‘musician’ than ‘Kor’ or ‘musician-kor’. A similar custom exists among those who are related to or descended from Kors. The ‘Kor’ honorific is often added to a family name or personal name, of the families or children respectively. In this case the ‘Kor’ honorific is always used as a prefix, that is precedes the name, e.g. Korschmitt or Kormüller for family names, or Korhans or Kordeeter for personal names.

It should also be noted that not all Kors are male, nor is there a strict requirement to be male. Historically speaking there were always female Kors as well, albeit in much smaller numbers than males. Males just had a far higher chance to be itinerants, while females tended to be sedentary. Even today Kors are predominantly male, with a majority of slightly over 81%. Female Kors grew especially prominent during the Frederician period and the Hanseatic period, when many former or impoverished Kwens turned to this lifestyle as an alternative. Many a famous courtesan and artist were Kor-turned-Kwens or their (spare) daughters. During this era about a third of all Kors may have been female. Contemporary female Kors tend to share the roles, jobs, and lifestyles of their male colleagues, with the caveat that this particular lifestyle is not as appealing to modern women as it is to modern men. Many modern women find far easier employment in the public administration, positions that traditionally were always barred to Kors as strictly private citizens and religious types.

There is even a legal term for this form of ‘technical discrimination’—Korbann. Any public workers or servants are required to obey the rather ‘terrestrial’ laws of society, whereas Kors obey only ‘natural’ laws or ‘divine’ laws, preferring religious and philosophical tenets to secular institutions and conventions, even if there is considerable overlap. Because of this Kors are considered part of the ’Free Agents’ social group, semi-sovereign citizens under Prut legal suzerainty, and while they are free to act according to their beliefs and ideology, they are barred to be public employees. This state of affairs is also preferred and supported by Kors, who’d consider it hypocritical according to Heliandist tenets anyway.


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Neo Prutenia
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Postby Neo Prutenia » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:29 pm

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Gaisarik Albertiner (born during early winter 644 SH, probably 7/3 or 1/4 Fagelmaand, died the night between 2/2 and 3/2 Karpmaand in 677 SH), also called Geissarich Adalberter in Low Prut and High Prut (dialectal), Gaixaric d’Alberta in Hesperian (or Caisaric d’Alberta, older spelling variant), Gaisarique d’Albertine in Garimidian, Gaisaric Albertina in Kaitjanese), was a Prutonic Basel, the last Albertine Basel of the Pruton Empire, and a conqueror, seafarer, engineer, and important political figure in Protosian-age Ardania and Apisteftia. He was the son of the penultimate Albertine Kwen, Balskwen Ansgisel of Hoftwegen, and king Alrik Balding of Fehslaan-Dothbargen. The exact place he was born in is unknown, although it was certainly in the Silver lake area (now northern Neo Prutenia), during the night, in a storm, and likely also on the move. One of the youngest Basels ever selected, Gaisarik would prove himself a rather energetic, driven, and ambitious ruler and commander, being single-handedly responsible for both ending Ardanic slave raids into Nyktogeios as well as destroying the entire slavery-based Protosian society of Ardania. Gaisarik died rather young and during the zenith of his career leaving a lot of unfinished work and projects, most of which ultimately failed, got forgotten, or ended up going in unintended directions.

He enjoyed the highest available education during his early years; studying in Vineta, learning from various masters in Prangern, and also being tutored by the Kor-thinker Adalsinnaz til his sixteenth year. His scholarly focus was engineering and shipbuilding; him always having shown a certain affinity for construction, war machines, and during his teens ships. He learned about warfare, tactics, and combat from his Balting relatives, proving himself as a capable equestrian and logistician. His first practical military experience was frontier protection and helping his father fight against his rivals. This would make them close friends and allies, enabling Gaisarik to become the next Basel after his uncle, Basel Hrosfriond (modern variant Rossfron), was assassinated in 664 SH.

In time, Gaisarik would first create a probatory fleet to combat the pirate and slaver threat, and later a much larger fleet and then sail northeast to challenge the Western City States directly. His Ardanian campaign began in 666 SH and would last a decade til 676 SH, when his campaigns ended on the banks of the Coriazta river (modern Kaitjan). By the time of his death the next year, his nominal empire stretched all the way from the Falainon sea and the Megalos ocean, that is the western extreme of the old Pruton Empire, over the northern Pelagic and the Kafto Steno all the way to what is today central Kaitjan, encompassing large parts of geographic Ardania and parts of western and southern Apisteftia, with the Leopol and Coriazta rivers being the traditional eastern border. In practice his actual realm was limited to the Albertine royal demesne, his Balting allies, and the newly conquered territories in Hemerageios.

Despite his relatively short life and reign, Gaisarik manages to influence the northern Pelagic in particular and the Pelagic area in general for centuries to come. His series of campaigns lead to an unprecedented diffusion of ideas, knowledge, culture, and technology. It would infuse the Ardanic world with Prutonic ideas, mainly Pruto-Heliandist thought, which not only legitimised Heliandism as a major Pelagic religion and philosophy, but also reverberated all over the Pelagic reaching as far as Veleslavia and Mag Mell. His efforts made the trade lanes secure and paved the way for the beginning of the Pelagic age a few centuries later, after the political upheavals finally subsided, stable polities had formed, and trade and diplomatic relations were normalised. Gaisarik’s legacy hence including essentially ending the Protosian age and the isolation of societies and polities from each other. This was the beginning of reliable, consistent, and comparatively safe transpelagic trade.





Childhood and early life

Gaisarik’s birth was under very unusual circumstances. Balskwen Ansgisel was visiting her favoured lover, the Balding king during her pregnancy, opting to winter in the lake area close to the traditional Balding lands but far more hospitable than the rough, mountainous Fehslaan-Dothbargen. This by itself is highly unorthodox; a Kwen’s powerbase is her territory and family, hence leaving southern Prutenia and travelling that far north was highly politically dangerous. It implied a both a high degree of affection for king Alrik and a high degree of political security for Ansgisel. This could possibly imply that Gaisarik may have been a child of love rather than political convenience; an oddity in those times. Gaisarik was also born during a stormy night, marked by lightning, either in his mother’s camp or in her train. Lightning was the traditional symbol of military prowess, especially the mark of conquerors, with the honorific ‘Keraunos’ (from Old Pelasgian κεραυνός, meaning thunderbolt) being reserved for anyone who conquered a land or subjugated a group—often with the requirement of doing so swiftly and/or righteously. Folktales, that are not corroborated by proper historic records, also regale that Gaisarik was conceived during a storm. It is highly likely that most of these accounts and ideas were added later, in song by poets, and as curiosities by chroniclers, thus increasing the body of work and mythos surrounding Gaisarik. Interestingly, Gaisarik never received the honorific ‘Keraunos’ despite ostensibly qualifying since he subjugated all of Ardania and achieved his goals.

Gaisarik didn’t spend much time with the Baldings during his very early years; already by summer he was back in Hoftwegen. At age four he was sent to his uncle to Baselborg, the then capital of the Pruton Empire and the ceremonial location of the court. There he would also occasionally meet Balding relatives visiting the Basel or on other court business. When he was six he was sent to Vineta, where he would spend the next six years learning letters, numbers, and measure with the local Kors and preceptors. Unlike the Hoftwegen area and Baselborg, Vineta had a rather impressive harbour and shipbuilding facilities, cranes, and many other trappings of engineering and construction. Also unlike Baselborg which was fairly secure from raids or hostile intrusions, Vineta or rather the outskirts and surrounding communities were occasionally targeted by raiders and pirates, with the city being directly accessible by the Pelagos. Vineta’s walls and war machines held any would be sackers at bay; they also left a strong impression on the young Gaisarik. According to chroniclers Gaisarik would spend many hours every day learning about the various machines and devices of the harbour, particularly about cranes and catapults. He was also fascinated by the crafts used by raiders, which were different in size and design than their native vessels.

Around the age of ten Adalsinnaz arrived in Vineta by invitation of Balskwen Ansgisel and began tutoring Gaisarik in matters of knowledge, wisdom, wordcraft, and philosophy. They would become friends and two years later, when Gaisarik was required to move for a few years north to his father’s lands, Adalsinnaz accompanied the boy and assisted him further. They would stay together in a student-mentor relationship until Gaisarik turned sixteen, at which point he performed the fire baptism ceremony and became a recognised, full member of the Heliandist fate and Prutonic community. His old mentor would still occasionally visit him and provide counsel and advice all the way until 666 SH, when Gaisarik left Prutenia for Ardania leaving his old life and his old mentor behind.

He would spend the majority of his teens with Alrik, who turned out to be not only a capable martial instructor and trainer but also a loving father and companion. The Baldings were frontier people and border guards; their home was a march, consisting mostly of rough lands, bare rocks, mountains and hills surrounding a few fertile valleys. The area supported a pastoral lifestyle, and in defiance of the tough terrain the Baldings were renowned and respected horsemen, hunters, and herders. While Gaisarik never took to bow and arrow, he became well versed in horsemanship, cavalry and general tactics, logistics, managing camps, and he mastered sword and his namesake weapon—the spear. One of his Balding relatives, who later join his campaign as a chronicler and biographer, Kor Swartertha recorded the following:


The lad handled the gaizaz1 like a hawk handled the winds; on the horse he used the steed’s momentum, on foot he used his own, either way with faultless rhythm, his eyes keen and locked on target—moving or steady, it did not matter to the lad—he was as crafty a hunter as his Balding kin, he launched with the sleudar2, quickly, adding great strength and spin and doing so almost horizontally, directly hitting his mark. On impact it would pierce what was soft enough or shatter otherwise; sans sleudar he was deadly up to twenty paces3, with the sling he added trice that amount3.

1. a type of throwing spear, a javelin, poetic use of old spelling/form; proper Old Pruton would be ‘gēr’
2. a type of sling used for throwing javelins further, an amentum
3. Approximately 18 metres and 70 metres, well above average but under current world records in javeling throwing (around 90 metres)


Gaisarik showed his mettle in battle for the first time during a planned spring raid in 661 SH, when he was allowed to join a Balding detachment bound to dislodge a Wōdling group that had ventured too close to the empire’s northernmost frontier. During these several weeks he’d rise and rank and develop his Sperdraht ideas. In winter 661 and spring 662 he joined his father as a sub commander during a feud against the Amalings, a rival aristocratic group that controlled fertile plains to the south of the Silver lake area and the Prutepont (modern Zelisch area). During a particularly nasty siege Gaisarik’s reported to have saved his father’s life and managed to keep the siege going. The campaign itself was tactically inconclusive, with the Baldings having been unable to take any territory, but they did manage to force the Amalings to paying them tribute for twelve years.

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However, the experience Gaisarik gained during this campaign proved invaluable for his further development. In early 663 SH, he was a commander in his own right and part of the Albertine military elite and a rising commander in the north. The same year a disastrous revolt took place in the north, due to a poor ruling by Basel Rossfron during a dispute situation. The revolt was centered around the settlement of Harwalstad, west of the Ren river. Gaisarik sent an emissary to his Balding relatives for aid, and pressured his uncle to send an army north. King Alrik feared the Amalings possibly reneging and joining the Harwalstaders, so he negotiated with them first to avoid the entire north falling into civil war and possibly the entire frontier being compromised. Gaisarik managed to save Königssteen, the Pranger capital and a major hub of the empire’s in a swift battle east of the Ren, where his spear-throwing Sperdrahts proved themselves as a strong and capable force. He would then spend most of spring raiding Harwalstader territory and trying to convince the Amalings to let the Baldings pass while hoping for summer reinforcements from the south. The Baldings, Amalings, and Gaisarik reached an agreement, with the Amalings joining their force to the empire’s thus effectively forming a closed front leaving only the south open to the Harwalstaders. King Alrik joined his forces with Gaisarik’s soon after. Gaisarik also avoided the mistakes made during the previous year’s sieges of Amaling settlements, opting to take them via assault and use of siege engines.

He managed to breach many of the outlaying forts and strongpoints with these methods, slowly strangling Harwalstad itself. By the time he prepared to breach its walls the southern contingent of the allied forces arrived and the Harwalstaders agreed to conditionally surrender. Basel Rossfron extracted many concessions from the city; many contemporaries claimed he stopped just short of sacking it. This event significantly contributed to his assassination next year, along with many other similar strongman tactics that lead to further revolts.

Gaisarik’s success in this campaign was stained by an unexpected and random seaborne attack from the east; an Ardanic raiding party partially sacked Königssteen and destroyed several coastal communities in its vicinity while the armies were busy putting down the revolt. The Baldings and Amalings agreed to garrison Harwalstader lands while Gaisarik’s forces detached and marched back east to dislodge the raiders. By autumn 663 SH most of the parties used the favourable winds to flee overseas, and the few that were too slow or too busy looting were quickly dispatched by Albertine troops. Gaisarik managed to capture two Ardanic ships that had strayed too far down the Ren during this mission. He had craftsmen from Vineta come and ordered them to construct a small fleet using the captured ships as templates. During the autumn/winter period they managed to build twelve seaworthy fast vessels. Gaisarik had them install modified stone and bolt throwers on the vessels, figuring they could be used to outrange the faster Ardanic raiding parties. He practised and developed the first proper Pruton and Albertine naval tactics, using his cavalry expertise as a basis and expanding it on naval matters. The employment of professional rowers, recruited from already somewhat skilled Ren ferrymen and southern oarsmen, and the simple method of using one oarsman per oar, were all part of the initial organisation. Later on, a bireme and trireme organisation would be adopted as the pool of trained oarsmen rose and tactical and strategic needs changed. These configurations proved highly successful that year, as the first recorded serious naval victory by Pruton naval forces between Ardanic and Pruton naval forces of same size took place during autumn 664 SH. This event was overshadowed by the death of Basel Rossfron in summer that year.



Basel Gaisarik and the Ardanic expedition

Chroniclers are in disagreement over how much Gaisarik was affected by the death of his mother, Balskwen Ansgisel in 662 SH; it was in the middle of his Amaling campaign, and she died of old age without either struggle or upheaval. They apparently had corresponded over this period, and Gaisarik was a full supporter of Kwen Gundkind taking over as the Albertine’s matriarch—kwen Gundkind was his elder sister and sibling from a previous tryst of Ansgisel’s, a Kor-scholar and traveller named Gunndar. Gaisarik proved his support and loyalty to his sister after the campaign and before the Harwaldstader revolt. Their uncle, Basel Rossfron, was unwilling to accept Gundkind as the new Albertine kwen due to a variety of reasons, chief among which were various political contentions; Rossfron’s reluctance to send timely reinforcement to north might have been motivated by this. However, Rossfron proved himself very careless and frequently underestimated his foes; he made many enemies and his behaviour alienated groups that might otherwise have been his allies. The Harwaldstader revolt was especially politically divisive, and only served Balskwen Gundkind by strengthening her position. In the end these disputes would finally result in an assassination by a disgruntled Harwaldstader veteran after Rossfron failed to address a humiliation inflicted upon him by the Basel’s troops. He was murdered during a festival organised for his relatives from the spoils of previous year’s campaign. His assassin was speared to death by Rossfron’s bodyguards without trial or interrogation. By contemporary custom, the assassin was erased.

With Rossfron dead and Balskwen Gundkind being so young and only recently instated, there was a brief contest who’d be selected as the new Basel. Fearing potential coups from her relatives and mistrusting anyone on Rossfron’s paternal side, Gundkind selected Gaisarik as her Basel finding him a capable martial and political agent; this incidentally also secured her northern flank, as Gaisarik now not only enjoyed the support of his Balding relatives, but also the newly forged alliance with the Amalings, and was regarded as a local hero for his actions against raiders. Gundkind herself had strong ties with Vineta and the eastern empire. On Gaisarik’s suggestion, the two of them started the process of mending internal conflicts between the various factions—Balskwen Gundkind began looking for suitors and started various projects and programme’s aimed at addressing the issues of Rossfron’s former enemies and victims, while Gaisarik lobbied for a grand campaign overseas, reckoning that pulling many of the hotheads out of the empire and making them all work together against a common foe would prevent any serious insurrection. Gaisarik would be vindicated the very same year.

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The dynamic duo had a war fleet ready by autumn; it was built largely on the twelve original vessels developed in 663/4 SH. Gaisarik organised the fleet proper and handled logistics while Gundkind’s younger brother, Dorsmond, would become the fleet’s commander; he proved himself very capable in this role. Jointly the two men developed the “Fernstreich” tactic—it was based on ranged combat and using trained oarsmen to gain favourable positioning and incapacitate opposing vessels with stone throwers and similar long range weaponry. Gaisarik’s initial reasoning was that the open sea, when calm and under good weather conditions, ressembled an open plain, ideal for ‘cavalry’ tactics, or at least his translation of such maneuvers to the sea. Once enemy oars were sufficiently damaged their vessels would either be rammed, boarded, or set on fire. This tactic required a high amount of training between captains of the vessels and the development of rudimentary signaling techniques. This manifested itself as various mirrors, brightly-coloured flags, and drums and horns. The horns would later be discarded. During 665 SH the Empire’s fleet numbered vessels in the hundreds, with each city being required by law to construct a number of ships according to the Vineta template—a set of standardised blueprints which were regarded and kept as a state secret—the exact number of ships depended on the size of a settlement and it’s relative wealth. Participating in the construction efforts brought tax relief and favour from the court in Baselborg.

Gaisarik also directly cooperated with Gundkind in the political arena, using his good reputation and history of fair dealing to increase support for the naval expansion. He had predicted that the by now unruly regional aristocracy would destabilise the realm if they weren’t thinned or preferably aimed at an external foe. The Harwaldstader revolt had shown him what the results of lack of land and opportunity combined with a restless military nobility were; a repeat of Harwaldstad was to be avoided at all costs. At that time the Empire was also suffering from slight overpopulation, as the social, technological, and political circumstances enabled relative prosperity but failed to encourage discovery of new agricultural, organisational, or economical methods and system, nor did urbanization occur in a desirable manner. In essence, the Pruton Empire was internally volatile and externally isolated. Gaisarik hoped to change this with his overseas project—an endeavour which succeeded far better than expected. And perhaps even better than desired.

His aims were mostly gaining the support of the warriors proper—younger siblings, itinerants, migrants, cadet branches of the main ruling bodies, in short any ‘superflous’ young men. Gundkind gathered support from the main phratries and territorial magnates. She was concerned with the other kwens and their networks. She resorted to a ‘carrot and stick’ approach, aiming to convince or coerce every politically important and influential group to contribute and commit to the cause. This would ensure that in both of case of success or failure no single group would prosper or suffer too much compared to others. Both would enjoy reasonable success in their projects. Soon their Ardanic expedition would start.

It was decided to preemptively invade during the early southern autumn, as raiders and slavers would use the winter winds to strike at Prutenia proper right during or after harvest time. The invasion fleet was ready to set sail in Evermaand 666 SH, right during the hunting season. The fleet was divided into four parts—the main force, a vanguard, and two splitters ‘guarding’ the flanks. The splitters and vanguard were quicker, consisting mostly of light vessels designed for fast positioning and ranged combat and boarding missions. These would act as a cast net over the Northern Pelagic capturing and destroying lone or small groups of raider vessels. They effectively not only prevented raiding parties from reaching the Empire but also kept the larger invasion force a surprise, as it consisted of bulkier transport vessels and larger warships. During most of Evermaand and Getreedmaand the Ardanic expedition obliterated raiders and effectively enjoyed localized naval supremacy and overall superiority. In late Raukmaand they had reach Ardania proper.





Fall of Konkhena and conquest of the Western City States

According to legend, when Gaisarik’s fleet reached Ardania the first city they encountered was Konkhena (contemporary Conca, Hesperia)—Gaisarik would signal his intention to defeat the Ardanics by throwing a spear, his namesake weapon and striking the land with it. The spear pierced the ground but not before also cleaving a stone in half, then tearing the land in two. This foretold the fall of Konkhena, the crumbled stone representing the city, and the division and conquest of Ardania, the torn ground. However unlikely this event having transpired is, it became part of the folklore. Far more likely, Gaisarik landed somewhere to the south of Konkhena, recuperated, scouted the area, and found easy access to Konkhena through the Porta Dracà during the high tide that time of year. Word had already reached the citizens that a ‘southern’ raiding party was coming, as reported by a few escaped Ardanic vessels and local fishermen who encountered the Pruton ships. However, no one expected nor prepared for a nearly forty thousand men strong invasion force.

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Gaisarik knew he had only one chance to take Konkhena, fortify his bridgehead, and continue his invasion before the locals could muster a counter force. Konkhena had to be taken quickly, by surprise, and by force. An assault was considered the only viable quick solution to this challenge. It was decided to disembark a sizeable landing party to carry out sorties, harassing Konkhena’s hinterland, and scout the land, if possible also preventing any reinforcements. The bulk of the force would perform a direct naval assault, the hope being that the siege weapons and missiles would suffice to break through Konkhena’s defences. Gaisarik’s Sperdrahts acted as the main terrestrial detachment, commanded by one of his Balding relatives, Tedeila. Dorsmond and Gaisarik shared command of the naval forces, also split in two—Gaisarik commanded the heavy ships, transports, and main pinning and sieging force, while Dorsmond commanded the lighter ships used for harassment, raids, and skirmishing.

Tedeila’s detachment hit Konkhena first right at dawn, almost storming through the gates by accident. Tedeila, a notably disciplined soldier, carried out his orders to the letter and passed on the opportunity to enter Konkhena. His daring attacks did draw out a sizeable part of the city’s garrison. While he was running wild in the area surrounding Konkhena, Dorsmond entered the frey with his force about an hour later, the two of them pinning and crushing the sortie Konkhena had sent after the Sperdrahts. At this point the main force hurried to the city walls and started storming a dazed and confused, and now decisively smaller garrison. Gaisarik had his lighter engines clear the walls of enemy missile troops; his heavy war machines hurled chains and anchors over the city wall, which were then used as improvised climbing aids. Several of the transports were run aground to act as ‘siege towers’. Just a few hours after sunrise and one chaotic battle later Konkhena was in Gaisarik’s hands.

Despite apparently high losses and intensive fighting, as well as many of Gaisarik’s soldiers having witnessed or lost kin to slaver depredation, Konkhena wasn’t sacked. The takeover of the city was done in an orderly manner, and only Prutonic captives were immediately released; the city’s elites were forced to accept abolition of slavery. The aristocracy was partially arrested and uncooperatives and ringleaders were placed in oubliettes in many cases; some were buried either to their heads and left such for several days as a form of coercion, others were subjected to vivisepulture. The priests of Konkhena were the only group that wasn’t granted any quarter—all were subjected to ‘Ankerung’, a form of execution where the person is strapped to an anchor or more commonly boulder or large rock and is then either thrown overboard or in the case of the hundreds of clergymen of Konkhena launched into the bay via catapults and stone-throwers. As the caste responsible for maintaining and justifying slavery the clergy was bound in iron and shackled with the same implements forced on previous slaves, the same shackles would then drag them down into the cold deep waters.

The initial plan was to capture Konkhena temporarily and bring the Western City States to the negotiating table. However, due to a communication error, Gaisarik’s harsh impositions on the slaveholders, and an underestimation of Gaisarik’s force on part of the other slaving-cities a diplomatic solution wasn’t in sight. Gaisarik was just seen as another warlord who lucked out and took a major city, taking its spoils and slaves for himself—the ‘replacement’ of the previous aristocracy with his own was seen as proof of this. His demand for compensation for the previous raids was seen as a demand for tribute, a serious diplomatic faux-pas that caused the Ardanics to reserve all their opprobrium for Gaisarik, galvanising them into forming a counter-force.

The end result would be two years of internecine conflict the culmination of which was the Battle of Antibol in 668 SH, the second major victory of Gaisarik. Gaisarik’s invasion force would be aided by liberated slaves and captives, smaller settlements, already disgruntled ‘freemen’, and especially the Mountain Heliandists of the Serras, then the only group of native Heliandists enjoying any semblance of autonomy. Opposing them was the Antibol League, a loose and slowly-acting coalition of various mutually distrusting city-states, which had the money and manpower on their side. Gaisarik adopted a ‘defeat in detail’ approach avoiding sieges and aiming to destabilise and bleed out his opponents. During 667 SH he got reinforcements from the Empire, after it became apparent that the WCS-s were not willing to negotiate or cease raiding Prutenia. Initially Gaisarik did not aim at holding territory; he would take a place, destroy the temples (where all slave contracts and records were held), execute the entire clergy, and would decimate the aristocracy, making sure to specifically target those unwilling to surrender and abolish slavery. All others would be offered to remain in positions of power. With several successful raids, and the reinforcements arriving, Gaisarik shifted to an occupation and pacification strategy. And after the 668 SH battle the Antibol League’s back was irrevocably broken. The last illusions of a WCS-s resurgence were dispelled in 670 SH after the Battle of Focea. By then the territory which would correspond to modern Hesperia would effectively be under Gaisarik’s control, and it was in utter chaos.

Although a very capable strategist and logistician, as well as negotiator and diplomat, Gaisarik never managed to find proper solutions to societal and economic problems, or rather the very issues and problems of changing a society and culture practically solely based on slave labour to one entirely different model no one had experiences with.





Gaisarik marches on; Prutons settle Ardania

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The constant chaos and conflict as well as the pogroms of various groups coupled with spontaneous uprisings and harsh suppression resulted in a noticeable population decline in Ardania. The land was devastated, depopulated, and desperate. The economy was in shambles, with only Gaisarik’s logistic supply network providing any workable system for trade, transportation, and communication. Ardania became a very large military encampment undergoing a thorough occupation and pacification. The campaign was also becoming too successful, drawing ire and suspicion from the magnates back home. Gaisarik essentially held a mini-Empire of his own, thus enhancing Gundkind’s power and influence which caused political strife and loss of balance within the Empire.

During an assembly of the Kwens the consensus was reached to open Ardania for Pruton settlement; in practice this decision led to further Pruton adventurism in the area. While ostensibly under Basel Gaisarik’s command, many new groups and leaders, all members of the Pruton aristocracy and their retinues, began pouring into Ardania, thus further destabilising the region. Gaisarik was forced to accommodate these newcomers and he had to juggle that task with remaining in good standing with his local allies. Ultimately, it proved futile given the circumstances—without strict military rule economic stability and more importantly food security could not be ensured—the new Pruton waves had to be integrated into the system Gaisarik had already worked out, at least until very necessary land reforms could be implemented.

As a courtesy to his local supporters, Gaisarik left the implementation of the reforms to them, showing a high degree of trust and care; meanwhile, he’d organize the new-wavers into fighting groups aimed north and east.

Gaisarik’s next goal was the expansion of land under his military control, following the idea, that more land would allow him to spread out the burden of upkeep for the warriors and making management more financially bearable. Likewise, any WCS-ressurection would become impossible, and many of the targeted neighbouring lands had been, and many still were participants in the Ardanic slave trade—Gaisarik’s intention was the permanent abolition of these systems. This intention was further tempered by the arrival of actual Prutonic colonists and settlers during 671/672 SH, who helped stabilise the region and repopulate many of the disturbed and devasted regions of central Ardania. Prutonic settlers brought with them new techniques and knowledge about agriculture and husbandry, as well as animals and crops. With a robust transportation system and trade network in place, by 672 SH the colonists were integrated into the system and provided the necessary support for further campaigns as well as food security for the region. By now the “relatively” recently liberated slaves managed to somewhat integrate back into society and the economy, although tension were high, especially in the regions that surrendered and had therefore kept a mostly intact local power structure.

With the military aristocracy becoming increasingly unruly, Gaisarik organised new sorties and campaigns and continued his Ardanic adventure—it would essentially become a repeat of 666 SH. The next major victory would be Kors in 674 SH, which was the southernmost terrestrial extension Gaisarik managed to secure more or less permanently. Further encroachment southward was deemed a naval affair and left to Dorsmond. He, in turn, would establish a base in Kors that would be the major eastern overseas port of the Pruton Empire well into the 800s SH, when Kors would be destroyed by a major earthquake—while it lasted, however, Kors, especially under Dorsmond, managed to suppress piracy enough to enable new and permanent trade lanes between the central and southern Pelagic and the northern and western Pelagic. That role would later be partially taken over by Raion no kuni and other powers that formed along the route.

Within the same year Gaisarik pushed north to reach the Blue Coast, in what would be contemporary Abramoz, Kaitjan. The city states in these areas were underdeveloped ‘league of villages’ rather than towns—the area was ill-suited for trade given contemporary naval technology and had disfavourable winds and terrain. The same areas also lacked the clergy common in the rest of Ardania—the predecessors of the Abramozi practiced their own indigenous beliefs and were mostly organised around shamans and shrines, concepts very much similar to tribal Pruton religion, hence the lack of murder of priests and clergy and the destruction of temples. Interestingly, the Blue Coast, or Blauküst, would soon adopt Heliandism as part of the cultural identity; the most significant development in this area would be the founding of Swintilon (later Great Swintilon), named after a well-educated Kor and companion of and commander in Gaisarik’s army. Swintila would remain the governor-general of Blauküst well into the early 680s, when the area was renamed Great Swintilon and he assumed direct sovereignty, reigning somewhere into the the late 690s or perhaps very early 700s SH. The city would become a major shipbuilding centre and the introduction of oarsmen and Pelagic-type naval technology and vessels would enable to region to trade with the larger Pelagic, bringing it into sphere of Pelagic nations.

Gaisarik’s eastern campaign would see two more major battle—Niwiflatja, the last battle of 675 SH, and Korja, also known as Coriazta after the Kaitjanese name of the river, in 676 SH.

Niwiflatja was the first foray into lands currently within modern Kaitjan. This area was also the last area of relatively bearable hills and flatlands before the Bruudar mountains in the south and the vast tropical jungles in the east and north. Niwiflatja was too much of a success—Gaisarik’s forces decisively beat the western bank Imortakai (Emmorker in contemporary Pruton literature), which resulted in a federation forming east of the Coriazta. Gaisarik’s Pruton soldiers could barely operate in the region—the constant heat and wetness exhausted even the strongest relatively quickly, tropical diseases, parasites, and flora and fauna proved a bothersome hindrance, and the terrin was ill-suited for Pruton-style warfare, particularly for an army to operate in. In winter 676 SH, the wet season in the Coriazta basin, saw a major battle between the extended and enervated Pruton forces and the invigorated Imortakai. The battle of Korja was fought in jungles and rain under horrendous conditions for both sides, resulting in a nominal Imortakai victory, albeit the true victors being the panthers and other predators, which would eat plenty during the weeks following the fighting.

Gaisarik was mortally wounded by an arrow during the battle. He would subsequently develop a fever and die twelve days after sustaining the wound. Folklore maintains that the arrow was poisoned, naming white hellebore as the likely culprit. Gaisarik might also have suffered some horrid disease considering the area, and that fact he had been continually fighting the last ten years of his life very likely contributed to his declining health, which could have exacerbated his condition and explain, why his medical staff couldn’t save him. Given the twelve day period, many suspected foul play. Scholarly consensus so far is that he simply died from the arrow wound and subsequent exhausting. The exact location of his death is unknown, but it was very likely somewhere in eastern Abramoz, possibly in Swintilon. His body was carried to Konkhena, where it was ritually burned according to Heliandist custom. The ashes would be brought back to the Pruton Empire and interned in a columbarium in Balding lands, in the home territory of his father.





Death and Legacy

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With Gaisarik’s death the great unifying force of various Pruton and Ardanic factions was gone. Furthermore, the Pruton Empire had lost its Basel and a large chunk of the Albertine forces was abroad, which made Balskwen Gundkinds political situation untenable. The last ten years had seen ceaseless war and were a drain on manpower, but also brought riches and new technology and contact with the east, disproportionally enrichening the Pelagic parts of the empire, while making the rather larger rest of the realm resentful. A series of assassinations and skirmishes between various factions and kwens resulted in every potential candidate for Basel who would have been politically safe or at least neutral being eliminated; with no Basel, Balskwen Gundkind would have to rely on her depleted powerbase and mercenaries to retain power.

Meanwhile in Ardania a similar struggle was going on between Gaisarik’s companions. By spring 677 SH most of them were in open conflict with each other, each one ostensibly claiming to temporarily taking over Gaisarik’s mantle until order could be restored. Without instructions from the realm, the situation in Ardania quickly turned dire. The rest of the 670s and a good chunk of the 680s resulted in the first phase of the Successor Wars, which established the major Gaisarikki Successor Kingdoms, or Ardano-Prutonic Successor States—roughly west to east, the Hunerik Dynasty, the Brandarikki Empire, the Hēlagids, Great Swintilon, and the Reccardines, with a plethora of other factions inbetween. Another major player would be the mountain kingdom of Rocca in the western Serras, which would bitterly fight the Huneriks and later triumphantly establish Hesperia in 1224 SH. The second phase of the successor wars would last til 725 SH.

The Pruton Empire would go through a dynastic shift, with the Leopoldines braving the interregnum period and ascertaining their control over the realm in 688 SH. The Leopoldines would remain in power basically uninterrupted until 1888 SH. They also avoided the mistake of the Albertines to expand into Ardania directly—the Leopoldines would heavily invest in trade and naval affairs, and would produce a series of golden ages throughout their reign, while maintaining good relations abroad, particularly with the Successor Kingdoms and the other polities which would form around them.

In that regard, Gaisarik’s legacy includes the establishment of these permanent links, and the initiation of the Pelagic age. The abolition of slavery in the east produced a tremendous socioeconomic shift in those areas, and his conquests and laws spread Heliandism as a viable philosophy and religion, imprinting the local cultures. He created a stable and reliable trade network, initially in the form of his military supply trains, but later civilian mercantile activity contributed to it as well. While perhaps unintended, Gaisarik’s actions also permanently shifted the sociopolitical landscape of the Pruton Empire, with the resulting dynastic shift bringing into power a new and dynamic ruling phratry that would bring 1200 years of political certainty and continuity.




Gaisarik in popular culture


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His adventures and campaigns also indirectly contributed to art, culture, and language. The Ardanic/Hesperian name “César/Cesare” is likely a derivative of “Gaisarik”. He became a popular figure in literature, written as well as oral, with his tales and exploits frequently elaborated on and told in song and stories. There are many works of Hesperian and Pruton literature mentioning Gaisarik, and he’s been often cited in literature of neighbourly nations as well, particularly Raion no kuni and Abramoz.

In Prut parlance, “throwing the spear” means “declaring war” or “initiating a fight”, likely a reference to Gaisarik’s throwing his spear at Konkhena. “Llançant la llança” means essentially the same in Hesperian.

There’s a dozen films about Gaisarik, many of dubious level of historicity. His life was also depicted in well-researched and produced documentary and entertainment tv series, Stormgeberner (2997-2998 SH), which was quite popular abroad as well as the Prut Meritocracy.

Gaisarik’s also been depicted in many video games set in this period, and he’s been a commonly seen leader in the popular Culture series of video games, being the recurring leader of the “Pruton Empire” in Culture, Culture 3, and most recently Culture 6. Player mods added him as a potential leader in the other titles for the PC platform.

The Hesperian rock band Llançatirades’ name is an homage to Gaisarik’s “Sperdraht” and roughly translates as such. The frontman of the band even uses “Caisa” as his stage name. Some of their songs reference directly or indirectly various battles or actions of Gaisaric, e.g. sacerdots ahogadas (drowned priests), etc.


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Factbook: The Prut Meritocracy | Prutopaedia (TG feedback appreciated) | National Policies | φ(._.) - Shoot me a TG if you want to RP with me

Always assume I'm the exact same tech level/reality as you are, with access to the exact same technology/abilities; I just happen to prefer very strict MT. IC name: Prut Meritocracy


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