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Author Topic: Spartan Society  (Read 1393 times)

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Offline peterhereTopic starter

Spartan Society
« on: January 28, 2011, 01:49:19 PM »
I just want to lay this idea out, to see if anyone is interested in it. It's going to be a group roleplay, possibly with a system and a storyteller.
Please comment! I'm open for any changes/suggestions regarding the plot or the idea itself.

In ancient times the Greek man Lykurgos had a revelation, bestowed upon him by the God Apollo. He was to creative a new empire. An empire with divine rules, granted by the Gods.

The Spartan Empire was designed to create the perfect warriors. Everything about it was designed to this very purpose. To breed fourth the strongest warriors man could produce. They took extreme measures doing so. Newborn babies with any sign of weakness or disease, boys and girls alike, were thrown out of Mt. Tegatus, to meet a rocky end of their lives. Male children at the age of 7, were taken out of their homes, raised by the military state. Female children was trained in a social network to become furtile mothers. Any measure was taken to breed fourth the perfect genes for a solider. And once the perfect soldiers were born, they were trained. And as they moved into the adult world, they knew nothing else than their sole purpose.

The Spartan empire consisted of three different classes.
- The Homoios (The highest class. Perfect warriors with a lifelong training and dedication. The only citizens with a right to vote.)
-The Periokais (The middle class, not allowed to vote, but allowed to own land in their own name.)
- The Helots (The lowest class. Working as slaves for the Homoios their life had no value. It was not considered as a crime for a Homoio to take the life of a Helot. They were assigned to work, and produce.)


Once Spartans reached the age of 18, they were to be married. No ceremony was needed for this. Marriage in Sparta wasn't about love. The 18 year old boys were to sneak in at night at their chosen wife's home, and perhaps meet the opposite sex first time? Night time, was the only time of the day couples were allowed to see eachother.

In a world controlled by warriors, driven by dominance and controll... Will love ever blossom? Or would couples meet in the dark, and do their social duty; breeding fourth the new generation out of responsibility?

I am planning this one as a group roleplay. I'm open for any suggestions or changes to the story.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 01:58:13 PM by peterhere »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 02:21:25 PM »
Any room for a Spartan oracle and priestess, she would likely be of proper citizen birth and educated at the legendary school of Sappho in music and poetics among other things after all women did tend to run things in Sparta at the economic level - so men could fight. She might also be the lover of the Queen a woman of quality was not unseemly having a woman lover at all of quality. And as an oracle and priestess she would not have poor social standing and would be consulted on matters as a voice to a god or goddess on Earth. The GM sort could use her to give things to do or portents cryptic of things to come. And she could bullshit the rest of the time.  ;D

Plus women of Sparta could have other men as lovers if the husband approved it was good for the stock to have excellent men have children the child would still be Spartan. So her husband if he had a friend from an allied city might let him bed my character or share her if they are lovers as men usually were.

I would like to avoid mystical stuff over the historical though no spell tossing or summoning things up.

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 02:28:55 PM »
Yeah, as I said... I'm open for anything really. :)
True, homosexuality was quite usuall... Probably due to the fact that people rarely saw the opposite sex during their youth. So that fits inn to the plot.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 03:17:26 PM »
Okey Dokie.  ;D

Offline Sabriel

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 09:43:17 AM »
I am glad to see you posted your idea :)

You already know my interest and such so I won't go into great detail, but yeah I will be interested if it sticks to what we where talking about previously.  I will only really be interested if it also plays to the mythology aspects and such since that is one of the most interesting things to me.   

Ill will likely still go with my original idea despite it being a bit similar in some mystical regards to Ruby's which I hope won't be a problem and do something with the Cult of Echinda concept I mentioned, which could make for interesting practices and strange gatherings etc not to mention some intrigue and secrecy.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 12:44:14 PM »
Well Oracles were often priests and priestesses by default but I might go an oracle not in the clergy but is damned accurate. I must add Spartans were uber-religious and tended to take oracles very seriously and revered them - even if not from Sparta. So she would have alot of status as a Spartan born oracle from a proper family. Her patron deity will be likely Artemis the patron goddess of Sparta and she will be eccentric a bit likely somewhat versed in hunting, using spear and bow, the performing arts and prone to periods of religious revery. Likely she will live with her husbands family but be free spirited a bit being a vessel of the goddess and all that.

Offline Sabriel

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 01:04:14 PM »
I believe Ares is also of some influence and has place in Sparta too as might some other gods I am sure althougth not sure about others. ^.^


Offline adifferenceinsize

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 03:32:57 PM »
Hey, Peter. Two questions for ya:

1) Any room for another Spartan man? (I'm guessing yes, but figure it'd be wrong not to ask.)
2) Any idea as to the time period you're going for? I find Wikipedia immensely helpful in managing all the wars and things happening around the 500-400 BCE spread.

I've a couple ideas depending on the time line we're working with. ^_^

I'd like to put in my vote as well in regard to mystical stuff. While I'm somewhat against more explicit displays, it's worth noting that there was a lot of 'magic' that was based from stagecraft, partially understood science, and/or the mythology. I believe that can give a lot of room for ideas like Sabriel's without treading into the arena which Ruby dislikes. If I recall or find any resources on that, I'll be sure to provide them.

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 04:38:50 PM »
Hey adifferenceinsize.

Your guessing is quite accurate. Yeah, there is room for another Spartan man.

Regarding the time specter of this roleplay to take place. I haven't set anything. I'll be open for suggestions if you had any period in mind.

When it comes to the superstitious and religious parts of it all... I do wish to have a mythological perspective, but agreeing with Ruby, I don't want it to get completely out of hand. Though I like the idea of secrecy and religious gatherings,  as Sabriel suggested.

I'm hoping that we can find a golden path through this and make it work. I'd love to see this roleplay sett sail.

Offline Sabriel

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 04:51:59 PM »
When I refer to mythology I am not really referencing simply magical things more the idea of the Greek myths and such which sort of invoke a different sort of setting one that is far more fiction than fact. I am not a fan of blatant spellcraft and too silly things myself I like realism and things to make sense.  I am far more interested in the inclusion of the mythological world and classic Greek tales I don't really recall reading any which seamed more fact than clear myth but that's what I love about them. 

I should note that most of what I was planning on including myself as a character could of been seen as sort of stagecraft and ritualistic behavior anyway, I was not planning to predict events or be an oracle of anykind just a cultist of a cult with strong mythological ties and odd practices. Infact I was not really thinking she as a person would have any real powers that if there was anything like that it simply be through the power of the cults rituals or that which they invoked. There would be no summoning of things either at least not in a poof appearance way. If there was it would be more traditional to the Greek myths. 

I myself don't really do much factual RP's I don't like playing out the mundane and already happened from different points of view,  I like realism but I prefer to write in fiction and in settings which are open rather than closed to such things. The degree in which they are open to things does not have to be massive, it could be something as simple as ghosts or gods actually existing in the world even if there influence is only minor.  Ill quite happly withdraw if the game is not going to go in that direction to save any upset, but I felt as I promised to help Peterhere and encouraged him to give his idea a try in the group section it would be only right I at least tried to get involved  :P

I would not feel right encouraging someone new who contacted me to try something out and helping them post it in the appropriate place without taking the interest in it myself.  But as he has other interest id rather let it go in the direction most enjoyable to everyone else than take part in something I don't think I could put my heart into.

:)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 10:08:06 PM »
I believe Ares is also of some influence and has place in Sparta too as might some other gods I am sure althougth not sure about others. ^.^

Of course one doesn't tempt the gods and goddess with lack of reverence, just each city did have one patron deity - Athena for Athens as an example.

Sparta had Artemis but I'm sure honored all the deities even the soft ones like Aphrodite.  ;)

But Oracles were special the one at Delphi for example but there were others and most had pretty cryptic verses that could come out many ways. Plus likely people will seek her from other cities in the region as an Oracle would give Sparta an asset.

Offline Sabriel

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 10:58:04 PM »

Yeah that's not quite I meant I know that the god's are equally sort of paid there dues, but Ares as I remember and am sure have read elsewhere in multiple sources is not just venerated but is also like a main focus which makes sense given his dominion, I do know that they regularly made human sacrifices to Ares which alone speaks of there focus towards the god to me. 

Basically Sparta had  two patron Gods.

http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/aegean/thecities/sparta.html

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 12:23:26 AM »
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/aegean/thecities/sparta.html

Brief website to read up on for basic information of Sparta.

They have two partron Gods. But as of actually not being in that many wars (which is awfully strange when building your entire civilization for war?) Artemis played quite a big role for the Spartans. She also stood central when it came to raising children, and changes made entering adulthood. Which came in handy having such strict rules.

Mars, or Aries was -very- central when it came to waging war. And they did make huge sacrifices to secure victories on the battleground. He was also the preferred God for the grown Homoios, which were 'finished warriors'. Idealized by men, to be the perfect warrior. So I'd say they had two patriot Gods, one for war, and one for piece.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 12:29:30 AM »
I saw an excellent PBS program on the Spartans the site misses that women were also educated in dancing, Gorgo a contemporary of Sappho was a renowned lyrist and singer/musician was from Sparta in fact adding in fitness and combat training to the rest they were very formidable women if exceptional. But would any Spartan deny Zeus, Hera or Poseidon their worship it would be offensive to these deities not to be given proper worship? And Hades his role would be obvious at times.

And Sparta didn't need to go to war they had the reputation for unmatched skill on land in war and did nearly defeat the will of the Persian Empire with 300 Spartans and 700 Allies, come on damned impressive they were armored killing machines. Would you want to be on their bad side?

Offline adifferenceinsize

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 02:00:02 AM »
But as of actually not being in that many wars...

That's not entirely true. Warring in that age wasn't quite like it is now; there were minor fights pretty much every year. Most were generally short and minor, and so there's not a major record of them like the few huge epics (Peloponnesian Wars, wars with Persia). There's a distinct reason the Spartans were considered the masters of ground warfare in their time, and it's not because they had long stretches of idyllic peace.

That said, it's also worth noting that to other Greeks, Ares wasn't a god one venerated like you might Athena, but one you'd appease. The god of disasters, plagues, and the slaughter of war was a rather scary figure to many people.

Anyhow, I was thinking for a possible character the son of an Athenian merchant and a widowed wife who descended from a hero of Sparta. I'd figure my guy would be a bit of a black sheep among the men despite having proven himself a worthy Homoios. Despite tracing a true lineage through the maternal line, the foreign influence has always been a bit of a taint on his record, and perhaps he has some un-Spartan inclinations that keep him a bit out of the ordinary?

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2011, 09:06:28 AM »
It's great to hear that you're all putting a real effort into this, and I'd like to thank you. :)

When it comes to my own character... I have the idea of him being a heliot. Significant in the art of carpentering and working with wood. This, being a great attribute for a village at the time, made him a target for the homoios final manhood test. To kill a threat among the Helots. If one were of any status or particularly skill, be it athletics or any profession, they would be considered a threat. Therefore having reason to fear for their life. The final test at the age of 18, was to join the "kryptea" which was a gang of young adults, striving to prove their worth in the line of homoios. They would be able to do so, by killing a valuable helot.

My character is a young carpenter, whom have prove his skill to be extraordinary. Being targeted by the "kryptea" he acts in self defence, ending up by killing one of the homoios. In fear of letting the word go out that a helot killed a homoio, they offer him to join their ranks, taking the place of the man he killed. They are accepted as heroes by their return, joining the high ranked part of the society.
I'd imagine my character would probably be friends with adifferenceinsize's character. Afterall, they're both black sheep's among the men?

Reaching the age of 18, and prove themselves worthy. They are to be married according to tradition.
Late at night, after having trained and worked in their legion... They are to sneak into a given house, where their future wife will be waiting. This tradition will go on until they reach the age of 30, when they are allowed to live with their family. This could be a way to intreduce any female characters?

As said, this is only an idea and a suggestion. Everything is still open, just trying to draw some sketches over how we might form a story. :)

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2011, 11:19:21 AM »
Expect my char4acter to put up a fight she IS a Spartan woman she might be taken but never conquered. And the warrior is going to have a spear to get passed or at least a dagger as she defends her honor. Peterhere you do know the Spartan warrior elite was small and lived in barracks, plus to be honest spent years under the most brutal conditions preparing for warmaking - you think your character could pass muster hell my character would likely clean his clock and she is a woman. Likely as well trained in fighting as a caprpenter would be in the period if not more so warrior skills was part of her education to and far more regular.

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2011, 05:02:34 PM »
I think my character wont having the intetion to conquer her... So I don't belive that'll be a problem. ;)

Offline adifferenceinsize

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2011, 10:31:23 PM »
A Spartan, not conquering? Madness! :3

Offline peterhereTopic starter

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2011, 01:51:28 PM »
Sorry for playing my humble little Helot! ;D

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2011, 10:31:01 PM »
Sorry for playing my humble little Helot! ;D

He just doesn't want to risk it a non-Spartan citizen male going after a properly born woman of such station would have no defense if she wounded or killed him for attacking her. This is not another city in Greece a Spartan warrior elite had years of training and brutal training - a real Spartan warrior could best her with effort. A helot without that its far more even. And as for your concept what would keep them from killing your character, his family for spite and saying the one he killed to have died in training - a vicious wound from a comrad in sword practice or a choke hold in wrestling (it was hardly uncommon). Seems just far fetched to me.

There is an option though for your character be from an allied city, you may not marry a Spartan but would be well treated as an ally and friend - and could honorably be with the warriors. And most would let you boff their wives as good breeding stock for the city if your fit and respectable.  ;D


Offline Duchess

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2011, 08:39:24 AM »
wouldn't that female character be a contradiction to the idea he had for the females in the game??
Quote
. Female children was trained in a social network to become furtile mothers. Any measure was taken to breed fourth the perfect genes for a solider.

so far i think , i understood, there would not  be much fighting required isn't it? I didn't  understood this very well, is the idea based on the ability to  build an empire where dominance and lifestyle  is main thing? or would there be fighting action besides the warrior taking  controle over  his future wife or child's mother?

Offline adifferenceinsize

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2011, 08:59:35 AM »
wouldn't that female character be a contradiction to the idea he had for the females in the game??
so far i think , i understood, there would not  be much fighting required isn't it? I didn't  understood this very well, is the idea based on the ability to  build an empire where dominance and lifestyle  is main thing? or would there be fighting action besides the warrior taking  controle over  his future wife or child's mother?
That doesn't seem entirely contradictory; they didn't do much to encourage emotional connection, but they were concerned over the procreational turnout. As for the story, that's a good question. The opening post suggests the game might be essentially a bunch of adulthood wife claims at first, perhaps several men of the same age being let out to do their thing at the same time. Beyond that, there are many options depending on how characters are set up and the sort of drama desired. I'd only expect fighting to occur externally or if there's a woman who is particularly aggressive in her self-defense.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Spartan Society
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2011, 12:01:03 PM »
wouldn't that female character be a contradiction to the idea he had for the females in the game??
so far i think , i understood, there would not  be much fighting required isn't it? I didn't  understood this very well, is the idea based on the ability to  build an empire where dominance and lifestyle  is main thing? or would there be fighting action besides the warrior taking  control over  his future wife or child's mother?

Actually that is coorect noirmal Spartan women did not have military combat training but likely could fight, daggers would hardly be an unexpected weapon for a woman. But I see no proof they were taken by force likely it was a custom the man would approach the father of the maiden and perhaps then the father or mother would talk to her and a marriage agreed to by the parents. The rest would be ceremony but she would be a scrapper nails ans teeth used to full effect. As I read it choice was always there Gorgo the wife of a king before he marched against the Persians asked what should I do he replied marry a good man and have good sons - seems like choice to me. And women held the lands and properties marriage was a matter of economics and the state families would be consulted and approvals gained. And a woman would prepare the girl for her husband in the family home until she had her first child hardly kidnapping if you look at it that way.

Likely I'll play an oracle, literate and educated woman of Sparta that does atand out even more than her peers as above average thereby attracting the interests of a good man then he can talk to her father or if he is dead her mother about marriage. So her family would be careful about a match so it benefits Sparta best. And I will note kidnapping was hardly necessary if a man wanted another mans wife he just had to give permission and that was that. Two men might even share a wife.

http://people.uncw.edu/deagona/amazons/spartanwomen2.htm
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:44:05 PM by RubySlippers »