City-State Pyralis: Western Maerisius
Subcultural Advantage: gain Inhuman Courage advantage for free, half cost buy-in to the Pyrallian Warrior martial school
Ruling Senators: Octavius Vorenso, Thesian Agrippa
Notable Cities: Zandra, Atropsis, Leoditus
The Pyrallian City-State is, by far and wide, the most warlike of all Maerisius. The people pride themselves on their combat abilities, preferring to settle their differences through trial by combat rather than diplomacy. Even their females are taught to defend themselves, although Pyrallian women are strictly forbidden to engage in wartime combat, save to defend their homes and villages. Young males prove their adulthood by stalking giant crabs along the seashore. When they kill their first crab, they are required to fashion its ruby shell into their shield and/or armor, and its claws into weapons. The greatest gift a Pyrallian woman can receive during courtship or marriage rights is ruby jewelery, fashioned from their suitor's first kill. Women in Pyrallis are free to marry or court as they choose, for they too have the right to trial by combat against even their fathers and suitors when they are wronged.
Discipline and order are emphasized first and foremost in Pyrallian society, which applies equally to both sexes. Younger children are educated, however by the age of 13 the males are transferred over the military training. Young women continue their studies and learn to run the town and their households. Pyrallis is one of the only areas in all of Othonia where woman are permitted to own property directly, and they are in charge of their estates while their husbands or fathers are off at war. Traditional marriage ceremonies in Pyrallis are held in secret, with the bride being metaphorically kidnapped and imprisoned by the husband for a brief time (usually 3 to 7 days).
In Pyrallian society, behavior unbecoming of one's station is strictly prohibited and punishable by gladiatorial combat. If a young lady has a problem with her husband or any other party, she may take the matter to the wife-mother of Pyrallis, currently Lilaea Vorenso, for resolution. Most women prefer not to engage their rights of trial by combat, so the wife-mother's judgment may take precedence. Males have no such luxury, it is combat or no resolution, and to deny a request for trial by combat is considered an act of cowardice. Such an accusation generally results in the coward being cast of of society and banished from his homeland. If the offender who is challenged is female, she will be humiliated by her superiors, or forced to survive a lethal obstacle course.
Males are not so lucky. Often, they are paired with far superior male combatants, and are often killed in the process of redemption. On occasion, if their crime regards a young lady, the young males are publicly defeated by a woman in gladiatorial combat, which is far more humiliating that defeat or death at the hands of one's male superior. Such spectacles are quite public, and are the primary form of entertainment in Pyrallis.
The people as a whole put the importance family at an equal level to that of their City-State, and the rest of Maerisius falls just below that. They will fight to defend their families and their land, however they are not a particularly materialistic people. A true warrior needs only his weapon, armor, and shield to survive, and their women know that they must be ready to pick up and leave on a moment's notice in case of invasion. They do not believe in keeping trophies or trinkets or items of deeply personal value that cannot be worn. As such, they do not hold the ability to produce traditional art in particularly high regard, however they do enjoy embellishing their living spaces with carvings and painted murals. It is not that they cannot appreciate beauty, it is simply not practical to allow such things to distract them for any length of time.
Their annual celebrations rival those of Kairos, with song, dance, and frivolity. Celebrations are the only time that Pyrallians are comfortable enough to let down their hair and relax, and they take advantage of having that burden lifted whenever the opportunity presents itself. Only the sentries on duty do not share in the festivities, however ladies often take themselves to the walls with a plate of food and cups of juice to tide them over until their change of shift.
Once they have been relieved for the evening, they are treated to a rather private party, as a token of thanks for allowing the village to have a moment of peace. At these celebrations, warriors will often engage in drinking contests rather than trial by combat, simply to see whose tolerance and will are the strongest. Not surprisingly, crab meat is a common delicacy, and is served in a variety of forms at all special occasions and celebrations. The majority of their other foods are imported or come from the sea. Indentured servants work the fields and prepare the meals, mostly breads, cheeses, and meat dishes. Wine flows freely, however drunkenness is seen as a sign of weakness.