S'Kra Mur Society
S'Kra Mur society is largely two fold: the social aspect and the political aspect. The social being personal to each individual and typically being completely independent and unrelated to any sort of class, caste, guild, profession, or political standing. The political aspect -- if history is any judge -- is ruthless, ever shifting, and subtle in its machinations.
In S'Kra Mur society, a person divides others into four groups, ru'at, smolgan, poho, and q'alri, a concept that is at the very core of S'Kra culture. This dividing is not always conscious, but it is purposeful as it changes how a S'Kra Mur addresses another person and can be used for everything from indicating respect and honor to distaste and hatred.
Q'alri - Stranger
- Strangers and outsiders.
These people may be treated politely or not -- and in many cases are treated with hostility. Even if treated with courtesy, these people mean inherently less than any others. The privileges of trust and honesty are not conferred on q'alrin unless they are earned; nor are such things expected from them.
There is absolutely nothing dishonorable about lying to, stealing from, or cheating an outsider, assuming it profits the S'Kra more than it harms the outsider.
- Q'alri - [Singular]
- Q'alarin - [Plural]
Smolgi - Friend
- Chosen friends.
These people are given trust and affection. A S'Kra Mur cares for their smolgan and considers them to be of importance in their life for one reason or another. Physical distance does nothing to change this designation.
It is possible for some smolgan to be closer than others. This does not change how they are spoken to or treated.
- Smolgi - [Singular]
- Smolgan - [Plural]
Poho - Lord/Lady
- Political leaders, Nobles, Guildleaders, Shaman, Gamant/Sraan leaders, et al.
These are people a S'Kra Mur affords the highest respect to, even if there is not a personal relationship between the two.
Poho are often mentors, nobles, or someone that is greatly admired for deeds they have performed. While it is is easy to confuse this group with societal groupings, those that a S'Kra Mur chooses as their Poho is up to their personal choices.
- Poho [Singular]
- Pohan [Plural]
- The core of S'Kra Mur society.
While there is not an actual translation for ru'at, this group is often called the inner circle. In this group are those closest to a S'Kra Mur's heart. Unlike the other groups, this is a group where the designation must be reciprocated and is perhaps why it is called an inner circle, since if it is not returned, the circle is broken.
Ru'atin are given complete trust and complete honesty and the same is expected from them. This group is the beating heart of every S'Kra Mur and is both private and personal. It is considered a deep honor to be brought into the ru'at of another and is not something often refused -- if ever. Likewise, it is also something that is never asked for.
Bringing another person into the ru'at is akin on many levels to offering them a piece of the S'Kra Mur's soul and trusting them implicitly with it, as well as getting a piece in return.
- Ru'at [Group]
- Ru'ati [Singular]
- Ru'atin [Plural]
It is important to note that within Rathan or Musparan society, the houses and great houses are the upper class; however, their structures are not above nor below the clans. Instead, they are parallel social and political organizations. Many houses may have members of one clan, several clans, or even no clans.
While some of the higher tier great houses of Muspar'i might feel they are "above" all others, this is only a matter of their personal opinion, as the standing of Musparan houses is not static.
Rathan House Origins
Rathan Houses are an extension of the Rathan political atmosphere -- originally led by Kings. One of the last Kings was pressured into creating the Merchant Council by the families that held the most power. Two Kings later, the Merchant Council took over the government and disbanded the monarchy entirely. This potentially left a rather nasty power gap considering House Zsekiel was previously known for being the House of Rathan Kings.
Some will note that there are Rathan Houses that are not made up of S'Kra Mur. The majority of these Houses came into being during the Seven Star Empire. It is presumed by scholars that these houses were inserted by the Imperials. Perhaps in order to maintain some semblance of tradition, even the non-S'Kra Houses boast phrases in S'Kra.
- More detailed information can be found here: S'Kra Mur Houses
- Wildly political Houses that remain in constant flux as they vie for power.
Known as the Shh'oi Gamant or the Great Houses of Muspar'i, these ten houses are not static when it comes to their social or political standing. Instead, it is the members of each Gamant that determines how the house rises or falls. The ruler of Muspar'i is the ultimate authority on the standing of any of the Shh'oi Gamant and this is typically done entirely on personal prejudice.
In Muspar'i, the monarch is chosen by who is most experienced and well-liked rather than by blood. The chosen monarch's Gamant is always elevated immediately to that of the First House, the Royal House, or the Gamant'hr'ur.
Most often, heirs are chosen from the Second or Third Houses but it is not unheard of for someone from the Fourth House to be selected or even for a lower house to be raised in order for the favored person to be considered ideal.
Each time a new monarch or heir is selected, the hierarchy of the houses is rebalanced. The ruler has the right to rearrange each of the Gamant as they see fit, which means currying favor is the political past time within Muspar'i.
- More detailed information can be found here: Musparan Gamants and Understanding the Society of the Desert Jewel
- Clans spread across Elanthia.
Spread from the former S'Kra Mur homeland (now the Qi'Reshalian Archipelago,) the varied clans made their homes across Elanthia. While not as political as the Shh'oi Gamants, the clans each have their own traditions and practices. Some clans have become exceedingly reclusive, such as Sraan Indakar or even nomadic like the Sraan Rasha.
The clans are not limited to families in the way the Great Houses are. Instead, they include a variety of families and one Shh'oi Gamant might have members from several of the clans. Not all S'Kra Mur are a part of a clan or a part of a Great House, but it is possible for any of them to marry into either.
- More detailed information can be found here: S'Kra Mur Sraans
Positions within a Sraan
- The following positions are the only known ones to exist, but this does not preclude others from existing.
- Keeper - Lore keeper and the one responsible for preserving and teaching traditions and histories.
- Listener - Role beneath Keeper. Typically travels and acquires knowledge to bring back to the Sraan.
- Medicine Man/Woman - Those that provide medical aid.
- Shaman - Those that serve in the religious aspect.
- Speaker - Generally identified as the political leader or the one that speaks for the Sraan when dealing with other Sraans or outsiders.
- Watcher - Unknown.