Bengerian

The Bengerian live, primarily, in the Bengaran Woodlands, a location claimed by the Kingdom of Bengeirr. They are a competitive and driven people, valuing economic might and business as prime components of a good life. Bengerians are often well educated, rich and somewhat arrogant.

Culture

For a Bengerian, money is everything. They claim to have invented the monetary system used by the rest of the world and everything in a Bengerian's life circles around money in one way or another. Not necessarily physical coin, but wealth and assets are by which Bengerians value their peers. Almost everything has a price to a Bengerian, including, in most cases, people's lives and freedom.

Competitive business people

Bengerians are obsessed with business, negotiation and bureaucracy. It penetrates their entire society, even all the way up to their politics. Owing someone a favor is a terrible debt and Bengerians do their very best to make sure they don't owe anyone anything and that as many people as possible owe them back.

The primary reason for the Bengerians' aversion to debts is that debts and favors can be traded, just like anything else and you do not want to have your debt be traded away to someone less understanding or less friendly. Some people have lost their entire livelihood because of an unlucky debt or favor trade. Bengerians can sometimes be ruthless when it comes to profit and favors.

Slavery

The Bengerians are one of the few cultures in the world that still practice slavery. Of course, they don't call it slavery, since their "servants" are paid for their services. The Bengerians claim that makes it not slavery. But make no mistake: These people's freedoms have been taken from them. They cannot just quit their jobs. They serve until their masters free them, die or sell them.

Servants are a prized possession and Bengerians tend to invest a lot into a servant in order to increase their value as bragging rights towards other Bengerians. Servants are therefore trained to be well mannered, well dressed, fluent in multiple languages and commonly also skilled in some form of art or academia. A knowledgable and skilled servant can be worth a fortune.

Servant rights

Servants have no real rights of their own, more than what their owner gives them. However, since they are considered property, it's more offensive to hurt someone elses servant than it is to hurt the owner. An insult or physical assault may be solved with a judicial duel, but hurting someone's servant is heavily fined, equal to property damage.

There are, however, unofficial rules that must be adhered to. It's considered dishonorable and vile to beat, starve or otherwise physically punish a servant. It is also taboo for a master and servant to have any sexual relationship, mostly to prevent sexual abuse of the servant.

So far, however, no king has been brave enough to suggest entering these unofficial rules into actual law, so abuse still occasionally happens. It is a popular insult and smear to accuse another of abusing their servants, usually done through political rumor-spreading.

The Untouchables

The servants are taken from the lowest class of Bengeirr. Those who have no money, no assets and no wealth to their name are untouchables. Destined to live in the streets, begging for scraps of food. They are disallowed from owning property. Once you are destitute, you are untouchable forever. A Bengerian who has failed so catastrophically at managing their wealth is not worth being part of society.

The only way for an Untouchable to have any success in life is to be offered the chance of slavery, or service, as they prefer to call it. A servant has food on the table, a family that cares for them, and owner who invests in them and often an expensive education ahead of them.

Grand wealth and opulence

As can be imagined, a people like the Bengerians, who are obsessed with material wealth, do their very best to flaunt it. Bengerian homes and cities are ridiculously opulent. Tobin, the capital of the kingdom of Bengeirr, is known as the "Golden City" because of its yellow roads and walls. They're not actually gold, but made to look like it. Some incredibly rich Bengerians actually gold-plate parts of their homes.

The home is one of the best ways for a Bengerian to flaunt their fame and wealth, so they spend inordinate amounts of money keeping their houses in top shape. Even poorer people in Bengeirr have comparatively nice abodes.

An affluent society

In spite of, or perhaps because of, the plights and struggles of the Untouchables, Bengeirr has a society that is surprisingly affluent, especially compared to other countries. Only a few of the Kharamôran city states could rival Bengeirr in average citizen wealth, but that's dubious because of the Kharamôr social caste structure.

While a poor Kfandrian would live on the streets, begging for food, a poor Bengerian (who is not an Untouchable) would complain about the paint on his house flaking and him not being able to afford a repaint. The difference in living standards is stark.

Parent ethnicities
Related Organizations
Significant presence in
Common Female Names Afri
Álfeiðr
Ámóða
Arinfí
Baugheiðr
Bótfé
Bylgja
Dana
Eðna
Eir
Eistla
Gefjun
Gíslaug
Heigi
Helga
Hlín
Sága
Sjófn
Syn
Vár
Common Male Names Angur
Báfur
Barki
Barkr
Dolgþrasi
Dfalar
Eiðr
Fjolnir
Fjosok
Gassi
Gaukr
Hjallar
Hlir
Molkom
Sigdan
Seigr
Þórgi
Þrums
Vágur
Valar

Related Reading

Bengeirr
Organization | Jan 12, 2021

The prosperous Bengeirr kingdom lies in the southeastern Gimroan Basin.

Bengaran Woodlands
Geographic Location | Jan 12, 2021
Gimroan Basin
Geographic Location | Jan 14, 2021

The eastern lands of Arjin, stretching from Roþ's pass in the west, to the coast in the east, nestled between the mountain ranges.

Gimroan
Ethnicity | Jan 12, 2021

The Gimroan culture sphere encompasses the eastern kingdoms of Arjin, centered in the Gimroan Basin. They are a straightforward, practical people who value their traditions.

Cultural ideals

Like most Gimroan cultures, the Bengerians are hardy, stubborn and driven. They have a large cultural overlap with the rest of the Gimroans, particularly when it comes to customs, beauty and relationship ideals.

Beauty ideals

For Bengerians, beauty is an almost metaphysical concept. While physical beauty is certainly a biological concept that everyone is familiar with, Bengerians put a lot of weight upon mental faculties like intelligence, eloquence and fairness. With their business sense and incredible material focus, a person's material wealth is a huge factor in attractiveness. "Marrying rich" isn't just a saying in Bengerian societies, it's a must.

As far as physical beauty goes, the usual markers go. Like in most societies, Vindral with alabaster skin or unusual hair colors are especially sought after, Illim with unique skin color and for Kuna, being well groomed and charming all plays a part.

Gender ideals

Gimroans are among the most equal cultures in the world when it comes to sex and gender, but the Bengerians are the exception. They are far stricter when it comes to who a woman may marry, gender roles in families and particularly with rules and nobility. Only men are allowed to be rulers and noble houses must be led by a man.

This patriarchal view of the world brings other issues with it, such as ideals that demand a woman to be pretty, obedient, soft-spoken and not speak out of turn. Women are also not considered to be as "skilled" as men when it comes to business and profit, so many men often try to take advantage of women either through intimidation or subterfuge or outright refuse to business with them.

Relationship Ideals

Women aren't property, but at a glance, you might be fooled. Women have little say in who they are to marry, particularly if they are nobility. Noble daughters are often used as leverage in political trades, forging alliances by "trading" a daughter for cooperation. Worker families have more freedom as political connections are far less important to them and the daughters are free to seek courtship from whatever boy they feel like.

Conclusion

The Bengerians are somewhat disliked in the Gimroan Basin because of their rigid and old fashioned gender ideals. The fact that are ruthless and profit-driven doesn't do them any services either. Individual Bengarians can be both altruistic and generous, but we're talking averages and stereotypes here, and Bengerians are arrogant, derisive against women and always look for ways to screw someone else over for profit.


Comments

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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
8 Dec, 2020 22:22

Oooo so this one had a slow start for me, but to no fault of the article. It gets the basics out of the way so the meat of the article can shine.   I found the aspects of slavery to be the most interesting aspect of the article. It's such a bizarre take on the institution. The fact that they go to so much effort to invest in their prisoners with jobs fascinates me. Its almost a decent living, almost preferable. of course to them it sucks, but living and getting higher education in exchange for servitude isn't the worst way to live, considering alternatives. I imagine they treat the servants well?   An excellent article Toblin. Sorry I've been slow on reading.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
9 Dec, 2020 15:35

The slavery aspect of the society is really interesting. I can kind of see why it would be favourable to poverty in a society that values wealth. I also like the comparison of a poor Bengerian versus a poor someone else. Really interesting society.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
9 Dec, 2020 19:24

"Interesting" and also "OMG awful!" They're not evil people, but their society leaves...a lot to be desired, let's just say.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
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