The Reposians, unlike the rest of Atheus, respect rather than fear the sea. In fact, this respect has grown to border on love and dependence. It is a fact, naturally, that most of Reposian exports are seafoods, and most of its income is from sea-based reasons, from oceanic trading vessels to fish.
Reposia is the exception to the rule in Atheus. The ocean holds no fear to the Reposians: in fact, it excites them, drives them to new ideals and ideas, comforts them and provides for them, defends them and fights for them. The ocean is to Reposia as a human is to life- if they were separated, all that is left is tears and anguish and a gaping hole. All of this may be in part due to the proximity to the ocean, of how most of Reposia is either coastline or forest. Though one could sell the wood of the forests, no other Atheian kingdom makes its living off the sea. Reposia, in effect, gained a monopoly on the ocean's resources.
This has caused two new things to creep into Reposia. The first of these is the idea of freedom. The sailor and the fisherman and those others who ply their trade on the open seas have had their professions romanticized. The idea of complete freedom amongst the waves, beholden to no one, their destinies and their choices in their own hands, has permeated the society to such a degree that complete freedom, taken with a hint of rebelliousness, has become a part of the culture. This has caused another side effect: the desire for democracy.
The other effect is the practice of tattooing. The tattoo had just the right amount of freedom to have the bodily appearance they so desired, and the rebelliousness agains the status quo, that is became quite the cultural phenomenon. The fact that fishermen were all ready wearing tattoos only added to the desire for the common man to 'ink up,' as the term became. Common tattoos feature the ocean, as well as a wide range of other subject matter.
Reposia is a very religious community. With the city of Triastu being just to the north, how could they not be? As such, Trianarianism is very common amongst the Reposians, with Lunism being in the clear minority. Because of this history of religiousness, the Reposian king announced how the Three had given him a divine mandate to rule, and no one questioned it.
The current ruler, King Dimitrios Moribitos, has only stayed in office because of this divine mandate. With the populace turning towards democracy as the better solution, and the fact that King Dimitrios has failed to fix some of the kingdom's problems, as they are perceived by the populace.
These problems include overfishing, caused by large amounts of amateur fishermen hitting the seas and not throwing out baby fish and fishing during mating season. Dimitrios did solve this, by requiring a fishing license and putting limits on the amount of catch, but since everyone prizes the fishermen, and thus wants to be fishermen, this did not make the public like him. Another problem was the handling of the protest done, in which Dimitrios quelled it with his military (he never said to kill them, or wanted the army to kill them, but things happened, and it turned into a fight), which was followed by unfounded rumors about how he played his harp while blood was shed outside his palace's gates. A third was the prison camps (see below).
As it is with most places, it is the young people who seek change. This is clear with the fledgling rebellion starting in Reposia, determined to overthrow Dimitrios and the monarchy, install a democracy, and let freedom reign. Most of them are young adults, in their early 20s, and haven't become as accustomed to the idea of the king being chosen by the Three.
The Rebellion is still in its early stages. Nikodemus, the leader of it, has not yet gotten past the poster and protest stage. Actual violence, as in actually attacking the king or the military, or being attacked by the government, has yet to occur, but Nikodemus has some ideas in his brain about reaching that stage, and being prepared for it.
The divine mandate to rule is what has kept the monarchy alive and well through Reposia's social and cultural changes. Though the average citizen can agree that they want democracy, and on the local level all ready have democracies, no one wants to go against someone who was chosen by the Three to rule. They are deities, after all. They must have a better understanding of how the world works and how life is going to play out in the future then they petty people. This makes the rebels in the minority. Approximately one third of the general public is pro-king, another third doesn't care enough to support either side, and the remaining portion are the rebels.
As for life outside the city, things are decent. The farms yield crops, the seas yield fish, the forests yield wood. Peasants make money, produce resources, and serve rulers. There is not the clear social divide between pauper and aristocrat as in Obstaria and other such places politically. Of course, the rich naturally have more power and wealth than the poor, and you can tell that based on clothing choices and other such differences.
The capitol city of Reposia, Corkyra, lies as is only natural on the coast. A small river flows through it, bisecting its richer half and its poorer half. This river has aided its progression to becoming a major trade center of Atheus. It lets trade flow into the middle of Reposia, and though there are bigger rivers, they each suffer some other fallback. The Taurian River ends in a swamp, making ship progression into the mainland difficult, and the Dethian River borders the Southern Hills, filled with barbarians capable of seizing and plundering the ships unable to maneuver and flee into open waters.
This makes the city of Corkyra a natural location for merchants and sailors to unload their goods and get supplies for the journey into the mainland. This lines men's pockets with gold in two ways: the honest, and the dishonest.
The black market of smuggled goods is alive and well in Corkyra. It is said that you can buy anything within its twisting allies and streets. From illegal poisons to excellent medicines, from sex slaves to expensive jewelry, Corkyra has it all coming in on its ships.
Reposia has the best beaches. This is mainly because it has the only beaches. The southern seaboard is blocked off by the Southern Hills, Tauria has its swamps, and Selthia is too busy harvesting its beaches' sand to worry about aesthetics. Besides, as it is the only ocean-loving culture in Reposia, anything to do with the sea is praised. As such, more is said of its beautiful beaches than any other place of compare.
This is not to say that they aren't good beaches. They may lack natural harbors for Reposian ships, but they are nice aesthetically. White sands, not a rock in sight, a nice sea wind blowing in its scent of salt and ocean, perfection. The occasional resort has dotted up in the Reposian coastline for the wealthy. Though these resort are filled mostly with Reposian rich peoples, other kingdoms do have a showing.
A while ago, a king of Reposia made a prison camp in the middle of the forest. The thought that while they were imprisoned, the criminals might as well be useful and have a beneficial economic impact, was the major driver of their formation. And in the first couple of years, they were very helpful. Logging and farming became their mainstay, and the selling of their product went back into the camp itself, into guard salaries and fortification of the defenses.
But then the kings stopped caring. They still sent cartloads of criminals to the camps, but they started cutting funds, stopped inspecting camp conditions, and disregarded criminal and public complaints. It became so that the main source of the guard's pay was from the logging and farming itself. And without oversight, the guards started increasing work hours, and decreasing the humanity. More product meant more pay, and the criminals became slaves. Even when parole came up, the guards would lie and say that they had done some bad things, and should probably stay a few more years for rehabilitation's sake,
To most Reposians, the idea of slaves is abhorrent. As their culture is about freedom, having that freedom taken from you is unthinkable and cruel. Though they were criminals, and whose lifestyle in of itself limited the freedom of others, no one deserves that. These prison camps became one of the reasons for revolt, to get the people out of the camps, and almost ironically became the place where rebels were sent after being caught.
The fishermen were the first to start tattooing. This is not to say that tattooing did not exist before the fishermen started it, but that they were the first to get serious with it, and have it be a common occurrence throughout their socioeconomic group. Once the general populace found out about this, though, they soon adopted it. As both a way to feed their growing rebelliousness and ideals of freedom and as a result of it, the art of tattooing became a cultural phenomenon all but unique amongst the Reposians.
The love of the ocean and those who reap the benefits of the oceanic life became the subject of tattooing. Wave designs, boats, tridents (a weapon used because of connection to fishing and as a symbolic representation of each of the Three of the Trianarianistic religion), etc., all found a place adorning the bodies of the Reposians.
Not only the people, but the government itself found a use for the tattoos. Criminals were tattooed with a red circle and a symbol of their crime on their cheek, so that everyone would be able to recognize someone. Young people would be able to see how criminals are treated after being caught and released, and in theory be less likely to commit crimes.
Almost every Reposian with access to water can sail a boat. Rowing has become the Reposian aristocrat's form of morning constitutional. It has become a point of pride to own at least part of a boat, and among the poorer people buying and owning a boat with a collection of people is common. Going hand in hand with this basic principle is the fact that the knowledge of the various parts of the boat, and how to sail various types, is something every child knows. Swimming is another element of this society: the freedom amongst the waves bears the potential for the storm, and one had best be able to swim to shore in that case.
Part of the city of Corkyra is afloat. There are some house-boats and shop-boats near the harbor and docks of the city, with the idea being that if they're going to own a boat, they might as well get some use out of them. Though public and governmental buildings all are firmly planted on land, the market is situated next to the docks for this various reason. Though Corkyra is the Reposian city where this use of the house-boat is most common, other coastal cities do see this occuring.
Translated from the Old Tongue to 'The Sailing Day,' Navans Dies is a national holiday on the Spring Equinox. It is a day of celebration, where the ships are no longer landlocked by the storms of winter, when the Reposians can once again ply the ocean waves. No work is to be done on that day, except for that of inns and restaurants and stores.
It features a feast in the middle of the day with a fish being the main course of the meal, followed by a day of swimming and sailing and partaking of the water and seas of Reposia.
It is followed by a similar, though lesser known and less enjoyed holiday on the Autumn Equinox, called the Domi Dies, or the Day of the Home, where the Reposians prepare for the coming winter and being once again land-locked.
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? Responses (6)-4
Update: I'm not sure if this belongs in the Tattoo Quest. I put it in mainly because the tattooing bit inspired the rest of the Reposian culture. If you feel that it doesn't belong among the quest subs, than I'll be more than happy to remove it.
Now that I've read the sub, it does seem the tattoo part is sort of secondary to Reposia as a location. I agree tattooing is somewhat a central part of their culture but now like you, I'm a bit uncertain whether this belongs to the quest or not. So I guess we'll wait for the next person/persons to decide.
Quite solid sub but need to ponder a bit before voting.
Its a good description of the locale, and usable. The Tattoo link is a bit of a stretch - its a minor detail that does not sit at the core of the sub - its maritime nature is more so.
Update: As per suggestions, removed from quest
Or did I? Doesn't seem to want to leave the quest submissions
Ergh... somehow forgot to come back to this. This is a solid sub on Reposia and while some bits are a little dry, there are also quite a few that are likeable- the link b/w the Trident (a sea related object in Greek mythology) and Trianarianism, the prison camps and the festival days.