Pure People’s Code

The Pure People’s Code of 239 ACW-

Just prior to Proudhill’s civil war in 240 ACW, Sister Branta, with the blessings of the Church invoked a set of codes that were intended to be the primary form of law.  The laws were meant to maintain morality in Proudhill and social control over what the Church saw was a debased society that was turning away from the Goddess.  Branta drafted the Seven Statutes and used the Church’s templars to enforce them on the local populace in Proudhill:

  1. Women are to be servants and symbols of the Goddess. The Goddess was true and virgin, she held her virtue with pride and scorned all temptation. Thus, women should not dress to insult the Goddess’s body by revealing their own.  Apparel should cover all exposure from the neck down.  Only in private, such as during baths or procreation, will a woman remove her clothing.  Violation of this will result in flogging.  The amount of flogs will be determined by a judge of the Church.
  2. Vulgarity is slander against the Goddess. Crude, foul language that is offensive to the ears is not to be tolerated. If it is deemed by a judge of the Church that someone cannot control their tongue from speaking unclean words then that tongue is to be removed.
  3. Marriage is a covenant that is no to be broken or desecrated by adultery. Adulterers have no place in any civilized society and will be punished as deviants against the Goddess. Any convicted adulterer must have their soul purified by fire and will be set ablaze to smoke out the evil that inhabits them.
  4. Making statues and worshipping them is an offense against the Goddess. Statues should be markers not idols. Anyone caught worshipping an idol will be stoned and flogged for as long as a judge of the Church feels is necessary to rid the need to worship any other thing but the Goddess herself.
  5. The Goddess gave us wine as an act of sharing her blood with us, but asked us not to indulge in the spirit. Indulgence in the drink is an improper way to worship the Goddess and must not be tolerated. Drunkeness will result in flogging.
  6. Dancing is a perverted form of entertainment that leads to canoodling of the genders. Men and women should never canoodle under such circumstances, thus dancing is the work of perverted intentions. Perversion, such as dancing, is prohibited.  Dancing is punishable through flogging.
  7. Excessive laughter is an annoyance to the Goddess, who did not create a frivolous world to be laughed at by her own creations. Anyone laughing for over a minute and a half is to be dubbed a hysterical fool and thus must be slapped by a judge of the Church no less than one hundred times to break the offender out of their hysteria.
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Branta’s Tumble

Branta’s Tumble-

The western slope of the round hill that is Proudhill is excessively steep: almost impossible to climb up and dangerous to climb down.  Some ramparts have been built into the slope to make an attempt by any army impossible, protecting its western boundary from bandits using topography as its primary defense.  The western slope is the site of many buildings of significance- most notably, the church.

History records the slope as having played a rather important role in the shaping of Proudhill.  During its early years, Proudhill had a civil war.  The city was divided on whether to have the Council or the church govern the laws of the populace.  The exalted sister Branta was a very pious member of the church and was constantly raising sedition against the Council, trying to wrest power into the hands of the church.  Middle-aged and a member of the clergy for almost her entire life, Branta did nothing else but study the Goddess and her Twelve Proverbs.  She was described as horribly thin, pale with short brown hair, and always strolled about Proudhill with her head held very high.

Branta’s troubles began when a vulgar rumor of her sexual habits began to spread about Proudhill’s taverns.  To combat these ugly rumors, Branta (without authorization from the Council) went ahead and passed the Pure People’s Code: a religious doctrine designed to snuff out human vulgarity.  The Council became outraged by her audacious over-reaching and tried to arrest her, but Branta hid behind the power of the church and its templars.

Even though she was successful in rallying a lot of support amongst the people, the civil war turned badly for her and the church’s cause.  Pushing through the barricades around the church, the knights of the Council made an effort to arrest her for inciting sedition.  Instead of being a martyr, Branta tried to fight back.  It is said Branta used some oil to saturate the church’s floor, then lit it on fire once the knights entered.  While this kept the knights back, Branta’s pyromania got the better of her and the church began to burn around her.  Not wanting to burn to death, Branta leaped through a stained glass window and then stumbled toward the steep, western slope.  Wearing a long skirt, Branta tripped in it and fell down the slope.  The knights heard her shriek but by the time they got to the slope, Branta’s broken body was already at the bottom of the hill.  Thus, the slope has been called “Branta’s Tumble.”  The church was saved from the fire but the civil war was at an end.

Proudhill part 2

As the years went by, Proudhill grew and the power of the human council began to exceed that of the church’s.  Sister Branta, a prominent member of the church, became an outspoken critic of the human council and demanded more involvement in Proudhill’s policies.  As a sister she didn’t outweigh a priest or priestess in authority but became the voice of the church nevertheless.  Branta wanted the laws in Proudhill to reflect that of the moral doctrine the church insisted upon.  She wanted social norms to be enforced by military means: specifically rigid rules on marriage (no legal divorce to be tolerated and adultery punishable by death).  The Council refused to make policy supporting these norms.   Sir. Humpecker, a very devout templar, took it an extra step and threatened to remove the council all together and replace it with members of the church.  These threats proved to be fighting words to the Council, who turned to Sir. Gallac once again.  Gallac was now much older but was still held in high regard by the Council.

Over the years, Proudhill’s templars had become more and more disgruntled with the church and their pious teachings.  Several templars were not looking forward to a church-controlled council and sided with the Council on the matter, rallying behind Sir. Gallac.  This division amongst the templars contributed to Proudhill’s Civil War.  In 240 ACW, Proudhill turned its war of words into a war of swords.  Templars fought templars, farmers attacked farmers, peasants attacked peasants, and the priests and councilors pulled the strings.  It ended when the prominent leaders of the church died.  Sir. Humpecker was cut down in a skirmish and Sister Branta tripped on her skirts while trying to flee, falling down a rocky slope and breaking her neck.  (The slope has hence been named “Branta’s Tumble.”)

After the war (which lasted only a few months), the term “templar” was replaced by “knight” and the church was no longer allowed a say in policy.  Knights of Proudhill became protectors of the Council, as templar training was officially dissolved.  Those loyal to the church left Proudhill; some went to Belvadore in the south, others went east and helped build up a small fortress there called Whitehood.

The largest threat Proudhill dealt with, aside from the bandits of the Blue River and the occasional raids of barbarians like the Blood Bunch, was corruption on the Council.  The Council was composed of elders: old families that had been among the first to settle there.  Tradition in certain families on the Council was permitting corruption to run rampant and the people of Proudhill began to demand reform.  The power grabbing that was happening in Whitehood served as a lesson for Proudhill not to replicate.  To prevent sedition and class envy, Proudhill instituted a roulette system of governance.

The Council would have nine people, from nine families, and each council member would have a term of five years.  After the five years, that council member’s seat becomes available to the next family, which is chosen by lottery.  This rotation by roulette and raffle became known as the “Raffle Senate” and it stayed in place for nearly two-hundred years.  The system was successful: exciting, but risky at times.  Every so often a certain Proudhill family would be selected to sit on the Council but their expertise on political and economic matters was limited.  Candidates were limited to only those families that either owned businesses or had a history of service to the Proudhill region.  Merchants, knights, priests, land owners, ranchers and bankers were common occupants on the Council.

Proudhill kept a frosty relationship with its neighbor Whitehood to the east.  Whitehood had fallen on hard times and was changing its system of government and leaders.  Warlords and corrupt councils kept steering Whitehood into becoming an eventual threat to Proudhill.  This all changed when Bandrian became its Protector and wiped out the dwarves of Duinmire.  The emergence of a human hero in the land caused much discussion for a Damish kingdom and the establishment of a royal line.  But Proudhill was against the idea, because their system of government had been so successful for so long.  Yet, Proudhill was still plagued by bandits and Blood Bunch barbarians who kept attacking the outlying areas and travelers.

Whitehood’s military was twice the size of Proudhill’s, and they boasted a larger population.  The leaders of Proudhill knew that Whitehood would only expand, and that Bandrian had demonstrated that he was an effective leader of men.  To protect the Salt Trade, the primary resource Whitehood shared with both Proudhill and Belvadore, Bandrian used his military to patrol the Blue River, keeping bandits away.  Compounding this were the elves of Merrimont and the orcs of Oringard, who barged into Damir, claiming lands and making humans in Damir uneasy.  Bandrian proposed a permanent alliance, a unification of the major settlements into a single kingdom.  United, the human kingdom would be well protected and any hostile action made by the dwarves, elves or orcs would be met with the banner of a kingdom, not just a settlement or two.

After years of negotiations and debate, the Council in Proudhill dissolved and joined under a single Damish banner, and pledged allegiance to King Bandrian.  A governing family was selected to rule Proudhill, and so the people unanimously chose the house of Gallac.  For over three hundred years, the house of Gallac has been the governing family in Proudhill.