From Dragon Eye Atlas
|Theocracy of Schap
Schap is a theocratic realm at the north-eastern end of Auseka. Ebronism is the official state religion, and only allowed religion in the land. It is ruled by a hierarchy of priests, each of whom is both the spiritual and the legal authority within his domain. At the top, the Patron, the highest priest in the land, rules over all. He is The Creator's voice on earth.
Schap is also known for its strong suspicion of magic and the harsh penalties for unsanctioned use of magical skills.
The southern border of Schap, towards Fonticia is disputed and a place of recurrent conflicts, as the believers of Seogism and Ebronism mix and neither country has managed to establish a solid control over the area.
The humans of Schap are mostly a sturdy, northern type. They form the vast majority of the population, with a dwarven minority in the south towards the borders of Alheimia.
Very few gnomes and even fewer elves live within Schap, to the point that most of its people have never seen either of them. In total, they make up less than 1% of the population, while dwarves make up around 5% overall and around 10% in the south.
In Schap, two important industries are state-/church-controlled instead of being in the hand of guilds: Bread and ale. All mills, bakeries, breweries and ale-houses are operated by the state/church. Together, bread and ale form the basic food supply of the land, with vegetables and meat adding variety to the diet. A direct consequence of this state/church control is that there is no economy around these basic items. There is no price or sale of bread, as anyone can simply go to a bakery and get a bread, or go to an ale-house and drink, or take a small barrel home. In good times, the church makes it known how this plenty shows the splendor of Scho Tu. In bad times, supply is rationed and stretched to feed as many mouths as possible and in past famines the system has worked well, keeping starvation deaths to a minimum. Some scholars warn that should there ever be a severe famine, other realms would see mass-starvation, but Schap would be wiped out when supply goes so low that an equal distribution makes everyone starve instead of letting some starve and others survive.
Aside from these basic industries, commerce in Schap is unusually free and the power of guilds is weaker than in other realms. As a result, prices fluctuate more widely, depending on supply and demand. A secondary effect is a stronger inequality in wealth among the peasants. Those following a profession that is in demand can make a good living and accumulate a relative prosperity uncommon in other lands, while many of the less fortunate peasants live as peons or are forced to wander the land looking for short-term work.
This page is still incomplete and missing content or details that are planned, but have not been added yet.
At the top of all hierarchies, both worldly and spiritual, is the Patron of Schap. Both the Lord Protectors and the Lord Providers derive their authority directly from him. The main difference between the two is that a Lord Protector is also a military leader while a Lord Provider is a civilian and religious leader and has delegated military authority to one or more Grand Templars.
Along the military hierarchy, the Templars are next, reporting to either a Lord Protector or a Grand Templar. They are the battlefield commanders and leaders of armies.
Along the civilian hierarchy, the Grand Stewards manage affairs for parts of provinces, cities or some larger towns, while the Stewards are in charge of smaller towns, villages and other settlements. The stewards are supported by Custodiases, low-level administators, errant-boys and messengers.
The religious hierarchy is the most important within Schap. Below the Lord Protectors and Lord Providers are the Voicers. These spiritual leaders run grand temples and monasteries, but very often also serve as Grand Stewards. Some Voicers are also Templars, and are then called Voice and Hand of Scho Tu. Below the voicers are the general clergy with priests, nuns, monks and such like.
Finally, the Justiciars are inquisitors and witchhunters that stand outside the normal hierarchies. A Grand Justiciar yields only to the Patron himself and there are always exactly four of them. A regular Justiciar will yield to a Grand Justiciar, a Lord Protector or a Lord Provider, but has authority over everyone else.
Blasphemy (denying the teachings of Ebronism) or Heresy (the teaching of any other religion) carry the death penalty in Schap. Burning at the stake is common, though flaying is used for more severe transgressions.
The use of magic is strictly regulated within Schap. Only priests of Ebronism may use magic freely. Anyone else must get a "usage of divine powers" permission document that details which magic that person is allowed to use, under which circumstances and how often. These permits are also commonly limited in time, often to one season, sometimes an entire year. For foreigners, time limits are even shorter, often just weeks. Thes permits are also not for free. Anywhere between a few silvers and a few gold must be paid to the temple issuing the permit, depending on the scope allowed.
Any unauthorized use of magic carries stiff penalties in Schap. A Justiciar will typically decide upon the precise punishment. The laws make no difference between helpful and harmful magic, it is the fact that magic was conducted without prior permission that is punished, as an attempt to access the divine without priestly guidance. Branding is a common punishment, as is flogging. The unauthorized mage is typically punished publicly and left on the pillory for two days afterwards.
Unauthorized magic is often called witchcraft by the commoners, but never so by the priests or the law.
Another feature of Schap laws is that as a realm dominated by the Shwazen culture, it has codified many "both hands" laws, meaning that crimes against the community are punished twice as harsh as crimes against individuals. In Schap, the church increasingly interprets crimes against the church to fall into this domain. This development began around 50 years ago and is still ongoing.