Angstros was an Amazon city-state in a high hill valley located to the west-northwest of the city of Priva, a city it would have a long rivalry with, but would ultimately join as a member-state of a united Queendom of Priva. an inhabitant of Angstros is referred to as an Angstryle.
Angstros was a city-state in a central valley surrounded by rough eastern foothills of the Dargoina Mountains. In effect, several valleys, large and small, converged on Angstros. The city was located to the west-northwest of the city of Priva in the Hieyokscream Bay.
Variable. By the Privan Queendom period, the Angstryles were noted for often being an athletic build, having sharp features, dark haired, with 'olive' skin, but light colored eyes. There was a common belief, either held honestly or as a pejorative insult that the Angstryles were descended from Kanovs for their appearance. Supposedly, Angstryles 'looked similar to each other.
The Angstryles were amazons and had a rather extreme matriarchal culture; yet, also was less extreme in other ways as males were not completely segregated and were involved in the society. This is not so unusual in that the Angstryles had developed a settlement.
In a number of ways, they were a study of contrasts. They became nomads who quickly settled down. The were supposed 'half elves' who came to despise elves and non-humans, yet joined a 'half elf', multi-ethnic nation. They were segregated from men, contemptuous and practiced and misandry, yet reincorporating with the other gender more than most amazons. They had a reputation for being tradition bound, simple, martial hill women, but they willingly changed themselves in search of development and peace.
War was something that they'd have their fill of. For while living in a group of mountain valleys, trying to control the territory would be severely challenging in dealing with Orcs, the Helmed dwarves, other amazons and Ogres and Trolls.
Naturally, they'd socially evolve considerably over the years.
Originally, grazing goats and cattle as a nomadic tribe in the valleys and plains to the west of the bay area. After settling down, the Angstryles engaged in farming, foresting and eventually mining and metal working. While they would trade, they were loathe to easily trade with resources they could use themselves.
The Angstryles were not known for being friendly. Indeed, if they were not moving their herds about, they would likely be horsewomen raiding other nomadic or settled groups. They were opposed to sharing the valleys with beast-folk and non-humans, or with humans or especially Kanovs whom they had little tolerance for. They would have terrible fights with Kanov tribes to drive them out, and while they might readily trade with the Helmed dwarves for finished weapons and tools, they'd also often war with them so as to keep them as far to the mountainous highlands away from the eastern hill valleys as they could.
They would trade and interact with other amazons, but only to a limited extent. The Angstryles had a certain ongoing contempt for settled amazons living near the shores, particularly those who were affiliated with elves. They seemed to wish to be nearly opposite of the amazons of Priva. When Angstros became well established and a potent force, they'd bully, raid, and eventually exact tribute from settled amazons.
Despite, or because, of having significant mixed blood early in their history, they would develop a phobia towards mixing with other races.
Amazons would be well expected to have at least an ambivalent attitude towards men. The early nomadic period of Angstryle development took this to an extreme. They segregated themselves from males altogether, only to contend with Kanovs and orcs and others in the high plains and valleys. Some have noted that much of their racial intolerance might be explained as intolerance towards males.
Early on, the Angstryles would visit or raid the early coastal villages for men in reproducing. Eventually, this practice waned and fell out of favor, in part because the Angstryles became less horsewomen as their numbers grew and their nomadic lifestyle waned. There was a period when they used 'bulls' to reproduce; that is, specially selected human male slaves used to get pregnant en mass. Much of what is 'well known' is actually suspect, for coming from Privan legends rather than actual history. Some of these legends are:
- Kanovs tricked the early Angstryles, and briefly enslaved and raped them all, leading to a 'half-kanov' race.
- Conversely, the Angstryles had a set of handsome half-Kanov brothers as enslaved bulls and mated with them, and being horrified by the results when the resulting children grew up.
- Angstryles practiced infanticide on most male children and all weak or malformed, or mixed blood children.
- Angstryles were horrified at what they had done to themselves, and practiced planned breeding so as to not just be strong, but to eliminate all 'non-human' appearances.
- Most males were slaves to the state, and subject to castration at any point in the their lives.
- After a year, (or up to three) years of breeding, the 'bull' was sacrificed.
While some of these have elements of truth, others might be pure fabrications, the Privans had no especial love for the people who had been their rivals and bullies when these legends came about. The Kanov legends in particular are questionable in that there are two of them, apparently unrelated.
The Angstryles themselves were functionally illiterate in their early development, or / and have kept tight silent about most of these legends. Without question, though, they did use more than one system male slavery and of 'bulls' in their history, and were concerned with protecting their humanity.
Later in their development, males were very important for their labor, and many would serve in the army as heavy infantry or archers.
Settling down in the 'nexus' of the valleys and building and farming was the key towards turning them from killing and driving others off, to enslaving those they saw as interlopers in their world. They liked orcs for hard labor and elves for crafts, they did not often take Kanovs as prisoners, and didn't allow kanov males around them even as slaves.
The Angstryles liked dwarven skill and strength, despite the usual exaggerated male feature of beards. They seemed to like their discipline as well, or at least the metalwork and products which came from such slaves. They'd developed a system of 'prisoner exchanges' with the dwarves so as few remained captive for long.
Human males as an enslaved gender is an exaggeration. Over time, men became seen as a feared but necessary resource. Not just for reproduction, but as more trustworthy workers or ultimately as soldiers.
Elven Influences Edit
The early Angstryles almost certainly had first settled down near the coast, much like other proto-amazon women, and were there for perhaps generations. Eventually, this tribe of women rejected the elves who had been their paramours, and the elven civilization that had sought to dominate them, and retreated to the wilderness in the hills to the western mountains. But they may not have thrown away all the elven influences they'd already absorbed.
Without a doubt, what they'd forgotten or left behind they would learn from elven slaves or from trade or keeping up with the Privans and other amazons near the coasts. Much of their designs in pottery, crafts, literature and weapons would have a simplified elven stamp to them. In other ways, they borrowed from the dwarves, buildings and steel weapons would often have a short, hard angular finish to otherwise long and curing designs.
While they never hated elves with near the vitriol they had for Kanovs, they held coastal amazons, particularly the Privans in disdain for 'serving' a weak people like elves. But the Angstryles respected elven sorcery, and feared encountering spell casters. They had developed heavy archery not simply to overcome elven talents in this area, but more to counter elven and amazon spell casters.
Angstryles were noted as sometimes having an outright fear for magic spells. Both for what the spells could do destructively, for having witnessed fellow amazons dying as a result of fireballs or lightning attacks and other means of dealing death, or superstitiously believing that an elf might be placing a curse as well as a blessing or that magic spells were likely to 'go sour', causing great harm. Even in the Queendom period, Angstryles were suspicious of any magic user and superstitious about the use of magic.
In Society Edit
The Angstryles came to put their military at the forefront of their lives. Citizenship and leadership positions required military service. While they appreciated labor and crafts, they expected young women to naturally gravitate towards war in their youths. They despised anything they saw as weak, or later, unusual.
Originally horse nomads, the Angstryles retained a large cavalry force, even using chariots for a time as they learned from elves. Later, they retired chariots and gradually reduced the proportion of their cavalry, becoming more and more an infantry based military. Still, cavalrywomen were well regarded and used for long distance attacks or scouting, and for flanking operations. They were considered the 'hammer' to the 'anvil' of the infantry.
Originally just low regarded levies on foot, or the 'guards left by the home fires' Angstros would place ever greater emphasis on infantry, The Angstryles would learn from the Helmed dwarves in particular, and gradually copy their tactics, and later from other humans. Footwomen would become competent warriors, and then well trained and well armored soldiers.
Gender Roles Edit
Select males of certain specifications were trained to become phalanx soldiers as heavy infantry serving as a main battle line. Females were also well trained in line fighting and spears, but would also break up into platoons or small teams in battle. they too, would sometimes fight in small groups such as 'triads' or singly in 'duels' which was an ongoing influence of elven ritualistic warfare which still remained a feature for the amazons in general. They would use either swords or spears.
Archery was also heavily used by both sexes, to overcome elves using it and to counter elven magic users. Males made for heavy archers who could out-range elven archers or most amazon counterparts with their upper body strength.
Government Type Edit
A form of Oligarchy. Rule by council, citizen elders of means selected by the council for open positions, making authoritative judgement and rulings, often viewing the good of the state over the individual. Administration was held by a Hegemon, usually the leading general elected to the position by the council, though there were usually few candidates. Strangely for amazons, the high priest could hold a sort of quasi-religious 'veto' power over decisions of engaging in war.
Government Intrusions Edit
The council had authority over people's lives. Originally an informal gathering of elders, they became a formal council with sub-cabinets under the council making various rulings with the force of law. They decided which children should train and which would work, which soldiers deserved to become citizens or be promoted, who could breed and when.
As with all the Amazon tribes, the origins of the Angstryles is currently unknown. Their specific culture must have branched off from the other proto-amazons who appeared in the Hieyokscream Bay in the early to mid period of the Age of Invasions, doubtlessly jostling with the Rossnes elves and tribes of Orcs who inhabited the area.
According to legends, the proto-Angstryles had settled down near the river delta, not far from the old elven city of Priva. Afterwards, they would come to do everything opposite of the Privans, With Orc warlords and resurgent elven city-states vying for power, Amazons that settled would come under control of one group or another. The early Angstryles refused to be dominated by either group and so abandoned their settlements near the elves.
This only has the weight of legend; but that the situation was in flux between elves and orcs and newly arrived humans (and Kanovs) is true enough. That Angstryles are said to have some early relations with elven males and infusions of elven blood suggests that they had indeed settled for some generations.
The Angstryles took to the hills of the west and southwest, and wandered the along the banks of the main highland river valley. They became horsewomen and would graze and trade in the south bay area, leaving more sedentary bases in the river valley. Some scholars maintain that early settlement near the river delta is purely mythological and that the early Angstryles were always horsewomen from the beginning of their arrival in the Bay area. These ideas are often proxies for the competing theories of how Amazons came to be in the bay area in the first place, as to whether the early amazons were human migrants that came by land or sea. Whether they were boat people for whom some became became horsewomen, or horse people whom some begat coastal people.
Regardless of how they came to be there, the proto Angstryles did come to live along the banks of the western river, and settled at the northern crook in the river as it turned to the east to empty out into the bay. Some maintain that these amazons might have just followed the river west and crossed it to reach their future home. Others that as migrants it was a useful place to settle and as a base to raid peoples to the lowland east near the western coasts of the bay.