Social structure in Kaliyatra

Whether from the south or the north, Veraist or Thalathanist, urban or village, the society in Kaliyatra is divided into a number of occupational castes. The caste system of the archipelago is largely associated with Nagaism, but can be found among other Kaliyatran ethnic groups. Individuals throughout the empire are ranked according to their wealth and power. Members considered of a lower caste can raise their status by raising their income or adopting a religious lifestyle.

Many status differences in Kaliyatran society are expressed in terms of ritual purity and taint. What actually entails purity generally varies greatly among different ethnic and religious groups. Broadly speaking, high status is associated with purity and low status with taint.

Purity is associated with ritual cleanliness-daily bathing in flowing water, dress properly, adhere to a strict diet according to appropriate rank, refrain from interacting with people of lower rank, and avoid involvement with ritually impure substances. Contact with the products of death or violence are typically tainting and threatening to ritual purity. In most cases, the impurity can be removed by performing a ritual washing of the body or an appropriate sacrifice at an holy place.

Ghosa

Main article: Ghosa

Ghosas or hamlet people are descendants of outcast or oppressed communities who worked in professions regarded as ritually impure or degrading, such as butchering, undertaking, removal of dead animals, removal of night soil, hunting and leather-work.

Social stations

The Kaliyatra government divides its citizens into four classes: scholar-officials, artisans, farmers, and traders. The highest station in Kaliyatra society is that of the Emperor. Most social stations are not considered hereditary, except for the royal family.

The Scholar-officials, or sarjanas are just below the nobles, and are essentially the bureaucrats of the Kaliyatra empire. This social class can be compared to dukes. They have many privileges, and could not for example be punished for breaking the law unless approved by the emperor himself.

Craftsmen and artisans are well-respected, much like farmers, they provided or produced essential goods for the benefit of the rest of society.

Farmers were traditionally the backbone of the Kaliyatra empire and every other civilization. They produced crops and foodstuffs for the whole of society. Most soldiers came from farming communities.

Merchants and traders are considered the lowest of the four stations, since they essentially make profit on what all other groups produce. Despite their low social standing, merchants are often wealthy enough to influence even the most powerful nobles and highest officials. Members of the Pahanari Commerce Guild and West Empire Company belonged to this station. Pawangs, shamans and others exhibiting supernatural powers belonged here as well.

Slaves constitute only a small percentage of the population of the Kaliyatra. They are generally owned prisoners-of-war or farmers who fell into debt because they could not pay taxes. They could also be tributary gifts given to the Kaliyatra court by foreign states. Sometimes, criminals are made into slaves. The Maharatha, the imperial guard of the Kaliyatra royalty are regarded as slightly above slaves.

Beneath the traders are the ghosas or hamlet people, those that live outside society and considered ritually impure. Being an executioners, undertaker or butcher is considered a lowly occupation, and were usually made up of foreigners.

Other occupations

Other respected professions include diviners and sorcerers. While filling important religious functions in society, scholar-officials usually keep them in check and preventing them from gaining too much power. Despite being respected among their communities, they were still of a lower status. Like merchants, those who practised sorcery were banned from holding public office.

Each character in Suwarnabumi has a social station. Social stations adjust the hero's starting Wealth (see Chapter Five in True20 Adventure Roleplaying). During character creation, select a social station between 0 and 2 as appropriate for your character concept. You can only choose stations above 3 and more with the Benefit feat and the Narrator's permission.

Station 0
Executioners, undertakers, butchers, washer-men, sweepers, prostitutes, wandering musicians, outlaws
Starting Wealth: -2

Station 1
Ascetics, diviners, holy men and women, retainers, sorcerers, slaves, traders
Starting Wealth: +0

Station 2
Cultivators, farmers, healers, landowners, physicians, soldiers
Starting Wealth: +2

Station 3
Alchemists, artisans, crafters, smiths, clan elders, chieftains
Starting Wealth: +6

Station 4
Ministers, officials, priests, scholars, generals, dukes
Starting Wealth: +10

Station 5
Royal family, regents, nobility
Starting Wealth: +14

See also

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