Friday, July 06, 2012
Founded by Grisende Mignard three hundred years ago, it has become a radical and militant force on the frontier that few are willing to tussle with. Grisende was herself the product of a radical experiment generations in the making; her great-great-grandfather being a famous practitioner of animal husbandry who arranged the marriage of his children along similar theories, practicing a form of eugenics. His heirs continued his "work" and by the time of Grisende, the women in the family were little more than brood mares, kept locked up and almost constantly pregnant from the time that they first showed signs of puberty until they were no longer usable. Hating her cruel father, Grisende murdered him before she could be similarly raped and impregnated (she was only 11) and fled with as many of her female aunts, cousins, sisters and nieces as she could convince to leave their home behind. Developing a theory of radical feminism, they founded their utopian city of Samettia in the northern Garriga Mountains, in a valley later called Grisende's Cove. Adopting and adapting the idea of eugenics, and augmenting it with alchemical "steroids" and other substances, Samettia has developed into one of the most radical and frightening places for a man to be.
Samettians usually wear very little in the warmer seasons--just harnesses and belts for the holding of weapons, pouches and other gear, as well as a lightweight cloak to cover up with in the event of rain or a cool front. In the winter, buckskin leggings and tops, as well as thicker fur cloaks and vests keep them warm. Higher in the Garriga Mountains, the weather gets colder, and there is frequent precipitation in the region, but in the lowlands, freezing temperatures are more infrequent and don't last very long.
Samettians also frequently wear odd jewelry that is attached via adhesives directly to the skin, and practice extensive henna-tattoing. In most cases, this is to make themselves either more beautiful or more intimidating, although in this culture, intimidating is often seen as a mark of beauty.
Samettians have (usually) little desire to leave their utopia except on hunting or raiding expeditions. The education process of Samettia inculcates a fear and loathing of society outside of their own, making the Samettians perhaps the most xenophobic community in the entire Three Empires region--surpassing even that of the Shifting Forest changelings. Trespassers, if not kidnapped for rape and murder, are instead summarily hunted and killed. In recent years, however, there have been some attempts at developing some ties with the outside world, mostly to ensure that their utopia is not threatened. Ambassadorial delegations have appearred in Simashki, Iclezza and Segrià, as well as among the Untash and Tazitta tribal councils, and some Samettian warriors have hired themselves out as guards or soldiers on rare occasions. And occasionally one is born with curiousity and wanderlust and just wants to see the world outside of the confined area in which they live in the northern Garriga highlands. And of course, sometimes outlaws and outcasts make their way out of the core Samettian country and into other lands as well. As the community becomes more involved in the outside world, there are more and more of these happening--although some of the more brutal ways of the past are also being slowly softened. Many Samettian women are now impregnated by willing men in their own lands who are met by traveling groups of Samettian women. Rather than being killed, they are thanked cordially and allowed to go back to their lives. And more and more, any boys born to Samettian women--few though their numbers may be--are no longer euthanized, but instead fostered to families outside of the community.
Despite this gradual softening of the harder edges of Samettian society, it is still a harsh place, and one that is whispered about with fear and awe by those who live outside of its borders.