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The Sheinari

Although each of the city-states of the Confederacy differ in substantial ways, there are some common characteristics.  The most significant of these is the level of regulation and organization.  Custom, recently reinforced by Dioedic Mandates, require that any business conducted within Sheinar must be regulated by a governing body.   Thus, guilds, societies, and associations are prolific.  Any occupation and lifestyle is represented by a governing body and anyone engaging in activity must prove that he or she is authorized to do so by the respective agency.   In order to support this practice, all the city-states and most townships have government subsidized "guild districts, " where guilds are allowed to rent buildings and such for their members at reduced cost.

The only ones not organized in such a manner are merchants, who have been organized into Houses of Trade since as far as history records.  Most Houses are under the control of individual families with a governing patriarch or matriarch; some, however, are guilds that arose in economic rank.  Houses are divided into Major Houses and Minor Houses.  Major Houses, such as House Stoneryphe, are not limited to a single city and often have investments in a variety of industries.  They are generally the oldest of Houses, tracing their history to a time before the Ar' Athåni War.  In contrast, the Minor Houses are less powerful, economically and/or politically.  They may be limited geographically, in terms of their economic portfolio, or both.

Conmaeiri

The city-state of Conmaier, situated on the northeastern plains of Sheinar was prone to taking the brunt of any attack on the Shienari peninsula before the Great Rise. Though its geographic vulnerability has changed,  Conmaeiri still have a militant streak in their blood.  Polite and friendly on the surface, they are quick to anger and slow to forgive.  Most of the citizens, male and female still participate in martial arts, even when only as a tradition.  This militancy is reflected in the fact that the Conmaeiri Detachments to the EdgeWatch are larger than any other cities. 

Appearance

The dress and appearance of the Conmaeir is similar to that of most Sheinari, except for the popularity in wearing goatees.  It is a rare sight to see a Conmaeiri male without a goatee; as if mirroring their men, Conmaeiri women paint three small dots, in a triangle, on their chin.  Conmaeiri often wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing in bright colors and rarely leave too much flesh visible.  Even in the hot summer months, whenever Conmaeir leave their homes or have guests, they were conservative clothes.

Customs and Laws

A conservative, honor-bound people, Conmaeiri society is governed by stricter rules of social status than other Sheinari.  To Shienari, there is a right place for everyone, and for every place there is a right person.  This is reflected in their appearance and behaviors.  For example,  those in the upper classes wear their goatees in a well oiled point, whereas those who are in the middle or lower classes often leave them to grow naturally; the former also wear brighter, multi-layered clothing, while the latter often wear single layers with duller shades.  In terms of behaviors, those of different classes simply ignore each other, remaining in their own districts and interacting only at the most superficial level.   

The Conmaeiri are also a very law abiding society with more laws on the books than any other city-state.  There are rules and regulations governing everything from when the Honored Society of Street Sweepers must clean the streets to the manner in which duels may be fought.  These laws are enforced by a City Constablury, the largest law enforcement force in Sheinar.  This is managed by the Conmaeir because, by law, every citizen over the age of 18 is required to serve two years in the constablury.  In addition, it is customary for retired soldiers to join the Constablury as a means of supplementing their meager pensions. 

Faeil Darian

Faeil Dar is east of Conmaeir, and even though a northern city, it was spared the brunt of attacks faced by its neighbor.  As if in a reaction to the staidness of the Conmaieri, the Faeil Darians are  a joyful, liberal people.  Often disregarded as hedonistic fops, the Faeil Darian are actually cunning people with sharp wits and quick tongues.  If is often said that Conmaeir became militant in order to defend Faeil Dar from the attacks it provoked. 

Appearance

Dressing in bright, loose fitting clothing, the Faeil Darian reflect their liberalism in their lack of modesty.   Clothing  often reveals more than it hides.   Faeil Darian women are reputed to be some of the most beautiful in Shienar, and the men, some of the handsomest.  Most take great care to further this reputation by keeping themselves looking attractive.  Styles change frequently in Faeil Dar and as the Merchant Houses set the trends for other Faeil Darians, so Faiel Dar sets the trends for Sheinar. 

Customs and Laws

Faeil Darians enjoy themselves in everything they do and seek pleasure whenever they can.  Major festivals are common, with smaller festivals occuring on sheer whim.   Although they maintain strict social boundaries between classes at others times, during festivals these boundaries disappear.  However, it would be a mistake to view this hedonism as a reflection of their ability to thrive.  Faeil Dar is the third oldest city-state, after Ethaech Yel and Kendun.  Although childish at heart, Faeil Darian society is more mature than Conmaeiri society.  Over these years, the Faeil Darians have learned to use their appearance and reputation as a means of disarming others. 

Altough liberal in their customs, there are strict laws in Faeil Dar that help maintain stability in a seemingly chaotic culture.  Laws are strictly and efficiently enforced by the City Watch, and punishment quickly and fairly meted out by the Ministery of Justice. Although SpellWeavers must be registered throughout the confederacy, Faeil Dar law also requires all mercenaries and adventures to register with the Ministery of Justice.  Weapons are not allowed in Faeil Dar and must be turned over to the City Watch upon entering the gates.  Citizens who fail to abide by these laws are exiled, visitors are banished.   

Ethaech

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Dhurbani

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Shemaeiri

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Kendunite

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Ar' Athåni

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Thjadririan

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©1998. Laljit Sidhu.  All Rights Reserved. Except where noted, material on this site is the property of the author.  Propriety material is used with permission.  For more information, contact the author at Raensleyar@hotmail.com.