by Max Barry

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by The Freehold of The Land of the Ephyral. . 18 reads.

Ephyra | Dispatch | TV Tropes | N-R

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

  • LinkOFFERINGS TO THE GODS | The wide assortment of deities and deity types in Ephyra require and demand sustenance, but different offerings are given through different rites. For the household protection gods, a piece of the daily meals and drink will be set aside and tossed in a fire for their consumption. For the ancestral spirits, nocturnal rites on the annual festival of their celebration grant them similar offerings, burned without the living consuming alongside them. For the gods above, a white animal is sacrificed, with parts eaten by human and others by the gods through its burning. Like the ancestral spirits, the gods below receive a holocaust offering under nocturnal rites, and the living do not share a meal with the dead. These rites are all demanded of pious citizens on the festival of their celebration, but offerings can be made at any time when calling upon a deity for blessing. For prayers, a blood sacrifice is often used, with the supplicant shedding a few drops of his or her own blood into sacrificial fire. The maintaining of these domestic and public cults are of vital importance to the Ephyral, and the prosperity of their country. No pragmatic response to a problem goes without a complementary sacrifice to the relevant deities, calling upon their favour to see the mortal method implemented work successfully.

  • LinkTHE OLDEST PROFESSION | Prostitution in Ephyra is legal, licensed, and common. For a man of any social status to utilise the services offered by a prostitute or brothel incurs no shame, so long as self-control is demonstrated and frequency moderated. The prostitute, by contrast, is a shameful role, and all free prostitutes cursed with the status of infamy. Prostitutes of Ephyral birth are registered and licensed, whilst non-citizen prostitutes are not. Further regulation on brothels and prostitution is primarily taxation concerned, rather than the safety of the prostitutes themselves. A significant minority of prostitutes are slaves, owned by their brothels or pimps. Another significant minority of prostitutes are male, catering also primarily to a male clientele. They are often dressed effeminately, and groomed to look so, making themselves more appealing to the active-masculine mentality citizens. Though held in contempt, prostitutes are still often sought. Many attend the aristocratic symposium drinking parties, where higher class courtesans drink and debate with the men, whilst lower prostitutes occupy private rooms, receiving clients as desired, and paying for the rental of that room. When a young man comes of age, it is customary for him to be taken to a high class brothel to lose his virginity, and learn the 'masculine art' of proper intercourse. Prostitution is the common recourse for women expelled from their family for adultery. Other lower class women, mostly foreigners but some citizens, prostitute themselves merely to earn a living. The availability of prostitution, its affordability, and general disinterest by the state in practises beyond taxation, has made Ephyra a destination for foreign sex tourism, with male tourists in particular availing themselves of the luxuries on offer.

  • LinkOUR NUDITY IS DIFFERENT | The acceptability of dress in Ephyra is strongly dictated by situation - whether the environment is unisex, in the public eye, or of a specific activity. At dinner parties, men often wear the himation cloak as the primary garment, wrapped around the waist and leaving them bare-chested. To be so dressed in another public setting would be regarded as underdressed, though not nude. Women, who would regard being dressed in just one tunic layer out-of-doors as being 'near-naked', often wear nothing more than this inside the home, even if receiving company. Married women in public veil their heads as a sign of modesty. By contrast, when engaged in athletic activity, they do so in clothing that is little more than underpants and bra, and that provokes no sense of indecency for the duration of the activity. However, (almost universally) foreign women who wear bikinis to an Ephyral beach are thought of as naked. Men likewise compete in athletic events in little more than a sporting equivalent of boxer shorts, without criticism or shame. Both sexes freely partake in nudity at the public baths, though sex segregated. A man who appears for formal sessions that would mandate his wearing of the toga, but who appears without one, may be shamed as appearing 'naked' despite any level of dress he has on, for he lacks what it is that distinguishes him from the barbarian and the slave. Yet the citizen in any enterprise that does not require the toga, and thus he does not wear one, receives no mockery. Infant children, in yet another example, are often (uncontroversially) unclothed in the home until about the age of seven. All of these examples and many others demonstrate the convoluted sense of decency, modesty, shame, offense, and nudity, that directs Ephyral life and action, is deeply affected by the situation he or she finds himself in, the sex of those that might observe him or her, whether the setting is in private or public, and many other factors. Sometimes it is offensive, sometimes it is indecently sexual, and in some cases it is neither at all.

  • LinkTHE PATRIARCH | The Ephyral family, conceived as it is as a social, political, and even religious unit of organisation, is often described as a microcosm of the state - a retroactive reasoning that masks the traditional Selian perception of the state as the collective social body of its constituent families. Authority over and within the state is therefore an extension of a man's ability and right to have authority over and within the family. This is the familial father, Ephyra's paterfamilias, the head, the patriarch. He is the eldest agnatic descendant of all those he has power over, and thus no man can ascend to the role whilst his own male ancestors yet live. A man may find himself under the legal power of his grandfather and then his father, before he and all of his brothers take the title over their own domains. His sons, daughters, and the sons and daughters of his sons, all fall under his power. All slaves are at his supreme command. All clients seek his favour. He is responsible for the honour and virtue of his family, and the actions of its members, and he is empowered even over life and death to keep this order. His wife is one of the few individuals not under his legal power, although customarily a woman's obedience to her husband is expected unless she has reason not to obey (including a command from her familial father). Others include the children of his daughters, who fall under the command of their father or grandfather (unless adopted into the family), and the ambiguity of unwed sisters, who though legally emancipated upon the death of their most senior male ancestor, fall customarily under the power and authority of their eldest brother, living in his home, until they are married and become wives. The apparent tyranny of the familial father is checked by those he has power over, who collectively form a council that validates or denies the efficacious power of his right. He rules by consent, for the good of all, and by any means deemed necessary.



  • LinkTROPE | TBA