by Max Barry

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by The Freehold of The Land of the Ephyral. . 8 reads.

Ephyra | Dispatch | TV Tropes | E-I

Just a fun dispatch where I add / remove / edit as many TV tropes as I can find with some basis in Ephyra, either because they accurately apply or are substantially subverted.

Some tropes may contradict one another, as Ephyral citizens may have unique ways of interpreting the systems surrounding them, leading to potential disagreement - or a case of circumstantial application of one trope as opposed to its alternatively valid opposite.

Many of these tropes reflect cultural trends in Ephyra intended for values dissonance exercised within a consistent culture. It is almost guaranteed you will find something morally objectionable in this list. Discretion is therefore advised.

A-D | E-I | J-M | N-R | S-V | W-Z

  • LinkFAMILY HONOUR | The seedbed of the state is the family, and the honour of the family is the chief concern for its members. This honour can be translated as 'face', 'reputation', or 'standing', and refers to the collective perception of the family as influenced by its members. It is something for which people have killed and laid down their lives. Sons and daughters are raised to embody virtue, shun vice, and aspire to the symbolism of ancestors both real and mythical. Unlike many honour cultures, women can actively improve upon the honour of their society through the feminine role, a double-edged sword which places upon them greater accountability for damage done to honour. For a man, honour is more public. He serves in the military, he starts or contributes to a family business, he observes religious rites properly, he runs for office, is charitable, courageous, firm, and active in his youth and elder years both. For women, it is a more subtle contribution, but a foundational one. Through their procreative power they marry, and bear and raise children in the Ephyral way. She observes modesty, chastity, and is mindful of shame. Both men and women can bring the honour of a family down through action and words, and this is penalised by the family as a unit. The familial father, as patriarch of a family unit, takes onto himself responsibility for the honour and integrity of his family.

  • LinkFEMALE MISOGYNIST | Ephyral women reproduce the values and ideas of their society. When it comes to the role of women therefore, they are often seen as embodying this trope. This is of course a purely external application, as no Ephyral woman who embodies, repeats, and teaches the values and virtues of the feminine role holds a hatred of woman. Instead, traditional femininity is examined as a quality, ranging from those who epitomise it to those who are absent it. The woman's world, as stated by Ephyral men and women both, is that of the family, hearth, and home. It is, generally, under her control as a wife and mother, although the legal power over the family as a social unit belongs to the familial father. Immense pride, honour, and competitive activity is derived from a woman's maintenance of her home and nurturing of her family, and many Ephyral matrons would argue that their exclusion from the world of politics, being unable to vote, stand for office, or typically even give voice to opinions on politics, is as natural and just as the exclusion of men from the more intimate daily running of the household, an intrusion which if it were to occur, would be met with the outrage of said matrons. For them, a good woman is modest, chaste, mindful of shame, active in the positive representation and advancement of her family, totally obedient to her father, and subservient to her husband so long as he meets all qualities expected of him as a man and a citizen. Immodest, promiscuous, shameless, lazy, disobedient, and disrespectful women are the types that earn the scorn of an Ephyral matron, and they raise their daughters with the skills to run a household and the values to keep them moral and righteous. Though under patriarchal social and familial rule, the ideal matron is anything but weak; strength of character, will, and piety to gods, country, and family are the hallmark of a truly Ephyral woman.

  • LinkFEUDING FAMILIES | A decreasing occurrence, but not a vanished one, and an inevitable one when the demands of personal and familial honour conflict with the peacekeeping interests of the Ephyral state. For managing such issues, the state has long allowed courts to issue redress for damages and harm done, and in case of serious crimes, for prosecution of the wrongdoer. But sometimes, issues can get out of hand, when one family responds directly, and a feud is created. With family honour in such high esteem, and the incentive for all its members to protect it, such feuds can turn violent quickly, with assaults, abductions, and even murders. However, with legal redresses and the ability to seek justice as a citizen of Ephyra, rather than merely a member of a family, these feuds are decreasing both in number and intensity, as familial heads make it a necessity to meet whenever a wrong or injustice has been committed, and seek legal redress for the damages.

  • LinkGLADIATOR GAMES | A long standing source of entertainment for the masses, dating all the way back to ancient Selia and its contemporaries in Rome and Etruria, where the games likely emerged as funerary blood sacrifices. This is a tradition kept alive symbolically, and one of the reasons why the sport, unlike the athletic races, boxing, wrestling, and other lauded and citizen-approved events, is considered dishonourable for participants. Almost all gladiators today are free men, although swearing an oath of obedience not unlike that of slavery, competing for fame, money, and recognition. It is a role that brings low social status but great fame and acclaim, with gladiators a class of men who are simultaneously despised, revered, feared, and even eroticised. These games are rarely to the death, given the high cost of training and investment placed into gladiators by those citizens who run and own the schools and the fighters, but on particular religious festivals, gladiatorial death is demanded. To incentivise free men absent work and prospects to take part therefore, they are compensated handsomely with abundant winnings, access to women, and the love and acclaim of the watching masses. For many, the risk of injury and death is of small concern.

  • LinkHEIR CLUB FOR MEN | Absent monarchy, this practice is best applicable to the family unit. Women can and do own their own and inherit paternal property in Ephyra, but as they are not the means by which a family's name lives on, except as wives to the men whose name they'll be perpetuating through childbirth, they are similarly not the means by which property built by one generation survives across them and into the next. As a result, a family requires a son. Either this will be achieved conventionally, with enough children being born that at least one or two sons exist who will carry the family's name, ancestry, and property into their own lines, or it will be done unconventionally when a man produces only daughters. In this instance, adoption is the primary means of heir making. Preferably, a relative is adopted. The two most common methods is a man's adoption of a nephew, the son of one of his brothers, into his family as his legitimate son, and marrying him to one of his adoptive sisters. The other is the marriage of these daughters to other men, with the expectation that a newly made grandfather without sons will adopt one of his grandsons as an heir. Both methods ensure a blood continuation, and a line of legal descent through the family. Legal descent without blood continuation is not unheard of, nor controversial, such as the adoption of the son of a close friend, but traditionally, even maternal lineage is preferred.

  • LinkI HAVE NO SON | Familial disownment and exile. One of the more common ways that a familial redress to an internally committed dishonour is carried out. The son or daughter is to be disinherited, formally emancipated from paternal control, and expelled from the family, both legally and physically. After which, the family cares little what becomes of them, or at the very least must seem to, as the demands of honour often take priority above the feelings of any of its members. For sons, this is common in the case of cowardice, failure of responsibility, or other faults. For daughters, infidelity and adultery are the surest way to destitution. Should neither decide to commit suicide as penance for their faults, an option traditionally offered as an honourable recourse and ensuring of burial with full rites, criminality for the former and prostitution for the latter become the typical trades.

  • LinkINTERPLAY OF SEX AND VIOLENCE | A motif both of mythology / religion, and culture. The pairing of the love goddess and the war god, as is the case in a number of cultures, highlights this quite plainly. She is seen to temper his violent, hypermasculine tendencies, and he is seen to harness her chaotic, impulsive, hyperfeminine tendencies. Victory in battle is often dedicated to this goddess, and to other deities of love, whilst the goddess of victory herself is depicted as a divinely beautiful woman, who rewards generals and armies with spoils of pleasing maidens and handsome boys in return for her cultivation. Another goddess of bloodlust and destruction revels in the post-victory orgy of enslavement and spoliation of an enemy population. In life, the Ephyral concept of sexuality is rooted in a binary power dynamic. The active, dominant, penetrating, phallic, masculine role, and the contrarily passive, submissive, penetrated, receptive, feminine role. An Ephyral man is expected to fill the former, but whether the latter is filled by male or female is irrelevant so long as they are not sexually off-limits. Weapons are linguistic euphemisms for male genitalia. A successful winning of a woman to a man's bed is termed as a conquest. Actual military victory is perceived as the violent submission of a feminised nation. Male-male relations exist fundamentally along the lines of this trope, an act partaken in by men who do not even report attraction to other men unless they are feminised and demasculated, cementing its violent (though affectionate) tendencies. Male Ephyral youth (teens to early twenties) are known both in Ephyra and abroad for their partiality to conquer many foreign women. In war, sexual assault and rape accompany a total military victory as it has done for centuries. In the euphoria of victory and bloodlust, the women and girls, as well as the men and boys, of a defeated enemy who do not escape or kill themselves are subject to this interplay. Even within marriage this thinking exists. In the privacy of marital affection, a husband should be continually proving masculinity through activity even in lovemaking, taking command of his wife and leaving her vanquished after his efforts, and who herself should provide challenge enough to make such victory a worthy one. Such couplings are not for polite conversation however, in contrast to the boastful (and potentially exaggerated) triumphant conquests of foreign women by Ephyra's youth, whose revelling in a near rapine ravishing of their partners forms the core basis for external viewing of this cultural trait. As the war god himself has a number of myths involving his seduction, despoiling, and ravishing of mortal women, Ephyral men as his symbolic sons have a divine model of inspiration - never surrendering their body to the pleasures of another, but taking it from those beneath them, socially and literally. Gladiators, those who provide death and blood to the masses, are eroticised by men and women alike. During the annual ritual of purification, Ephyral women in the streets are ritually whipped by youths in animal skins, all to aid their fertility and conception. The association of sex and violence is rarely given conscious thought in Ephyra, yet evidently for its citizens, represent two sides of the same coin.

  • LinkTROPE | TBA