Story for the day: Wives


                The matter of wives in Frewyn, Gallei and amongst the lands of the Haanta was a simple notion: there would only be one man for each woman.  Amongst the nations of the northern continent, however, such a notion was not so easily conceived. There were harems in Lucentia, concubines in Livanon, indentured spouses in the empire, but most peculiar was the Thellisian practice of polygamy. Their adherence to the dark arts and abandonment of any other religious institution allowed for such an odd observance, and though it struck others as to why men were permitted to have numerous women while women were seen as treacherous for wishing to have many men, this practice was wholly accepted across the northern continent.
Rautu does not care about your wives
                Seeing a flock of women encircling one man was not uncommon in the streets of Livanon but the nation had only adopted this practice in recent years as it trickled into their lands from Thellis to the north. There was a peaceable truce between the two nations, Livanon pleased to keep open trade with the empire and Thellis equally satisfied to do nothing beyond what was expected. Their war with the Haanta diverted their attention from the rest of the mainland and Livanon enjoyed a tranquility while assimilating certain traditions of the empire. Most of those who held to the Thellisian style of living where those of the noble houses in opposition to the Buthaena rule. They required opulence and much in the ways of undeserved esteem to sate their covetous habits and where power in the courts was wanting, wives must do.
                Upon seeing a multitude of eager women obeying their husband’s desires, the Den Asaan took his mate to the side of the lane and observed their conduct with disbelieving and chary glances. “He is permitted to have so many women as servants?” he asked the commander, noting how the gaggle of women doted on their benefactor.
                The commander laughed for the giant’s misunderstanding. “They should be called as such, I daresay. Those fussing creatures are probably his wives.”
                The Den Asaan stared at his mate, confounded for such a strange revelation.
                “I know. What a horror to think that a man can have more than one mate.” Her smirk received a scoff from the Den Asaan and she huddled within his trappings while she explained the occurrence. “In Frewyn and Gallei, our subsequent Churches only allow for one wife. In Lucentia, there are no wives but partners and anyone may have as many partners as is deemed necessary. In Thellis, however, men are allowed to collect and trade all the women of the capital.”
                The Den Asaan reflected for a moment on the subject and quickly decided the hoarding of women as a commodity was avoidable. “They would not need more than one mate if their women would fulfill their obligation at Khopra,” he declared, folding his arms across this chest.
                The commander regarded her mate with pursed lips and a false sense of defensiveness. “Are you attempting to make an insinuation?”
                The Den Asaan paused and dropped his arms to his sides, looking about unassumingly. “ . . . No.”
                She snickered into her hand, delighting in how effortless it was to destroy her mate’s grunting assertions. “Men in Thellis and certain parts of Livanon take many wives to increase their social status, not to have more Khopra.”
                The giant’s eyes blazed in horror. “That is ridiculous.”
                “I agree. Such a waste of resources,” the commander said wryly. “The more wives one gains, the more wealth and prominence one is perceived to have. This gives no indication of the man’s sexual prowess, however.”
                “No, it does not,” Rautu proclaimed, standing to his fullest height.
                The commander shook her head and rubbed her mate’s defined stomach to quiet any notion of inadequacy he may have had when being judged against a man who pronounced his ability to keep many women where the giant, when being compared to Otenohi, had only ever been able to keep one. “Not to worry, Iimon Ghaala. Often, men only collect these women and have little idea of testing them. You see, women can be traded among prominent households as bargaining pieces but not without the woman’s consent. This business of acquiring women benefits the one being acquired as well. She can flit from noble house to noble house, climbing the social rungs with every exchange.  It’s a very comfortable lifestyle, from what I understand. The women receive every luxury and security, and then are free to market themselves to another household if they believe they are being mistreated in some way.”
                “If this practice is permitted on the northern continent, why is this man the only I have seen observing it?”
                The commander gave her mate a depraved grin, knowing his response to her illumination would be glorious. “Well, I know you and your brothers are the great Khopra masters of the world but many men feel it is difficult enough to satisfy one woman. Attempting to suit any more should kill them or cause them to go mad.”
                The giant sighed and stabbed his finger at his mate’s nose to affirm his conjectures. “If your men would learn how to care for and please one of your women, it would be easier for them to do so for more.”
                “Are you intimating that every woman is the same?” the commander teased, canting her head as she spied her mate with a tapered glare.
                Rautu knew the answer to his mate’s mocking question but was forced to think of the difference between women of the islands and those of the mainland. He had found Haanta women to be unforgiving and demanding whereas his mate was forbearing and compassionate even through her false modesties. Though his brusque character and stern countenance had made him unapproachable by Sanhedhran standard, women of the mainland seemed to be only intrigued by these qualities. He felt perhaps constancy and firmness in person was lacking beyond the islands, owing to why many women should claim him sociable when he knew himself to be otherwise. His brother Otenohi had succeeded in satisfying every woman between the two Haanta islands where he and Unghaahi had not been able to please one. He fleered to himself and wondered how Otenohi should have borne such ill behavior and notions of entitlement. He eyed his mate with partiality, observing her cocked hips and welcoming appearance. “No,” he said fondly, gathering her into the bend of his arm. His kissed the top of her head and they continued their journey together through the Livanon capital.