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Second Age, Zarosian Humans

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Cthris

Cthris

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Welcome to my thread! :)


This thread will discuss, and speculate on what life would have been like for the average human in the Zarosian Empire. The aim of this thread is to keep as much as a neutral perspective. Mod post and in-game text will make up the burden of my proof for this thread. I will reference as much as possible. Do keep in mind that the mod posts are not 100% canon, and can be subjected to change. Feel free to post your own speculations.


As some of you may be aware, this is my recreation of my original thread. I felt that I wasn't getting the proper image across with the old thread, so instead of merely revamping it, I decided to abandon it, and start anew. This is probably my favorite thread out of all the threads I have made. I created the original long before we knew much about the empire at all. At the time, the popular consensus was that the Zarosian Empire was this haven of happiness, so I created this thread in response.


So I really hope you enjoy this thread as much as I enjoyed creating it.

11-May-2015 05:13:11 - Last edited on 14-Mar-2016 21:24:47 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Life in the Second Age

Life in the Second Age is very murky. Real world westerners would probably not like to live in any of these civilizations. Some qualities that apply to all civilization (minus the elves) are:

Literacy skills were very poor. All of the ancient empires had extremely low literacy skills. The highest level of literacy was the Zarosian Empire with 20% of humans being able to read, and 10% of humans being able to write. (1)

War. War had been going on for thousands of years. All human empires that we are aware of were engaged in some war during the Second age, typically against Zaros. This would undoubtedly put a strain on the resources and rations available. (13)

Low technology. Technology advances over time, and this was pretty early into the timeline of civilization. Well maintained roads, irrigated farms, aqueducts, large towers, sewer systems were all uncommon things, and most civilizations did not have them. (2)

Bigotry towards members of another species. Bigotry was certainly a factor in the Second Age. For example, the other races in the Zarosian Empire scarcely treated the humans with respect, and looked down on them for being human (3). Dwarves, humans, and gnomes all fought thanks to an intolerance to the other races (4). Humans often were not given jobs thanks to being human, even in the Saradominist Empire (5) Most humans were not taught how to read and write in the Zarosian Empire, because they weren't deemed worth teaching (1).

11-May-2015 05:13:32 - Last edited on 04-Nov-2015 13:41:45 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Mod Jack said:
Athrenn said:
Yeah good point about micromanaging. I wonder who enforced the laws in the empire! That would good to ask mod Jack


Laws were enforced by the church, which was the same thing as the civil bureaucracy. By the late empire Zaros trusted its running to the human leaders and Azzanadra, but even Azzanadra could only personally supervise a tiny fraction of it.

Like any human institution, I'm sure corruption and inefficiency were tremendous.

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One thing you need to bear in mind when thinking about conditions in the Second and Third Ages is that I'm basing a lot of what the kingdoms and empires must have been like on human history.

We are fortunate to live in an age of astonishing luxury. For the vast majority of (real) human history, people have scrabbled and fought simply to survive from day to day. A tiny, tiny minority lived in extravagant opulence while everyone else was subject to famine, disease, war and hard work all day, every day.

So when I say something like "the Zarosian empire was a cruel and horrible place you wouldn't want to live in", I'm telling the truth, but this doesn't single the Zarosian empire out as unusual in any way.. The same thing is true of more or less every point in human history prior to about 1910.

You wouldn't have wanted to live in ancient Egypt, or ancient Rome, or ancient Greece, or medieval Europe or Mesoamerica, or Victorian Europe, or Sengoku Japan.


Again I must point out that these qualities were found in all human empires.

11-May-2015 05:13:43 - Last edited on 11-May-2015 05:19:41 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Overview

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The vast majority of humans in the Zarosian Empire were unsafe, unhappy and unprosperous.
Just throwing that out there.



Objectively, ruthlessly efficient - it was this that the empire was built on, and the relative peace and prosperity at home made it all too easy to forget. (Ipcress)

The Zarosian Empire covered most of the continent. It covered around half of Morytania, covered all of Forithany, and extended down towards Lumbridge, and Port Sarim.

It’s capital was Sennistien, which for much of the Second Age, was the center of trade, and politics. Aristocrats, merchants, and politicians were found in abundance. Zaros’ own palace resided here, along with Azzandra. Seemingly it housed most of the political going ons here.

You could describe the empire as a war machine. Zaros himself had crafted it as a tool to crush the young gods into submission and to give them no choice but to recognize his divinity. (17) In order to run this this "war machine", Zaros ran through fear, even the mahjarrat were influenced into conformity through the fear (9). Zaros perpetuated in his empire. In his defense, fear is brutally efficient, and kept the empire running for thousands of years, long after he was gone.

Mod Jack had some opinions on the social trends of the Zarosian empire. (18)

"@Noctiseus Almost no vertical mobility, I expect. Notable exceptions, but generally classes would be pretty fixed."


Also when I asked him (18)

"Hi, was the economy and trading systems within the Zarosian Empire controlled, and run by the state/Zaros or was it run by private sectors (Capitalism)."

His response was "Probably a mixture of both. Public services built by the church (and paid with heavy taxes/tithes). This might include food."

11-May-2015 05:13:55 - Last edited on 04-Jan-2016 16:22:53 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Social Order

-From an overview of the Zarosian Empire I would say its economics were divided into six sectures: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Trade, Army, Religion/Politics, and the Homeless.


-As most societies go, there probably would be a low class, a middle class, and a high class.
I would guess that the Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Homeless/Mentally ill sections would be the lower class. They were considered economically impractical to teach any literacy skills (1), and had to work in conditions similar to a Victorian Sweatshop (6). These sections would make up the majority of all humans in the empire.

-The homeless were the most marginalized . The homeless were reported to have been subjected to Sliske’s cruel treatment, where he captured them off of the street, and forces them to slaughter each other in horrendous plays, while the rich and powerful laughed and cheered on (9). They also were often prey to hungry demons who devoured them (7).
Despite there being a law against this, it is reported that it was not kept very well.

-Vampyres also fed on humans as well. Unlike demons, vampyres actually have a real need for sustenance. Which is probably why the Vampyres were legally allowed to feed on humans. There was laws that detailed how much they could take. Whether this law was upheld much is unknown.

-We also know that the vampyres were allowed to legally use humans to experiment with blood magic. (14)

-Mental illness is also a factor. (The Homeless Hub reports that 30-35% of homeless people (75% of homeless women) suffer from mental illness. It's likely that the empire experienced similar numbers among their homeless.

-The mentally ill were mostly used as unpaid labor (Slaves in all sense except the word) in the empire due to the legislation of the Church, (16) so homeless mentally ill people experienced a double jeopardy where they were marginalized for both being homeless and mentally ill.

11-May-2015 05:14:07 - Last edited on 04-Jan-2016 16:15:01 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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The Middle class, I speculate, was the army and the trading section. The army and the traders had low literacy skills as well, assuming that politicians and religious figures made up the majority of the 10% that were literate; however there certainly were some that could read and write (3). I speculate that these sections were the only way of experiencing vertical mobility. You either had to prove your military might (8),, like Tor*a, Perni* , Vertus and Viggora or make enough money to advance to the next class.

The High Class, were mostly war heroes, successful traders, and members of the Church (9). Most, if not all, members of this class could read. It is reported that the aristocrats had little care for human life, and attended Sliske’s gruesome shows. Personally I believed that these aristocrat were behind many acts that Western Society would label as corporate crime.

The Church was essentially the elite class of the Zarosian empire, and were reported to be corrupt. They created the laws. (A bit of conflict theory here) Karl Marx would suggest that the elites in any society use the law to fulfill it's purposes, and would use it as a weapon against anyone who stood in the way of achieving their aims. He would also suggest that the media works on the behalf of the elites, and would conform the working class to it's latent desires. It's my belief that the Church often interpreted the word of Zaros in the way that best fit their goals, and did use fear, and media to conform people to their latent desires. Often the Church would marginalize people for profit. (16)

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The church was responsible for culture, ideology and civil government within the boundaries of the empire, but with culture well-established and the population growing, the demands of civil government took more and more of its time"

11-May-2015 05:14:22 - Last edited on 19-Dec-2015 01:15:00 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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The Corruption of the Church, and a Fearful Society

Politics in the Zarosian Empire was the responsibility of the Church. However the Church was was riddled with corruption,(17) and they created a government that ruled by fear (9). The Church took advantage of it's vulnerable citizens. (16) Even Zamorak said that "The priesthood is corrupt" (Enakhra's memory)

Corruption was a huge problem, it was so bad in fact, that a Saradominist spy could claim that any sabotage she performed was minor treachery of her own, and not for Saradomin , and as long as she paid a bribe, no one would care (10). You could be caught red handed for sabotaging the war effort, and people wouldn't care.

The empire was built from the very bottom with fear. From the very beginning, to the very end, the humans lived in fear of Zaros, and his forces.

The arrival of thousands of demons, and the torture and imprisonment of their god, so intimidated the people of Senntisten that they didn't even try to fight. They bowed down in worship of their new ruler. (Akthanakos's memory)

Remember that I said that the empire was a war machine, well then fear was it's oil. The empire ran on fear. If the empire had one defining quality, it would be its fear factor riddled with corrption; Zaros wasn't called the Dread Lord for nothing. Fear was how things got done, and it kept everyone in place. Even Zaro's Generals lived in fear. 13

If you take away anything from this segment, let it be that the defining characteristics of the Zarosian Society was that it was ruled by fear, and was largely corrupt

The problem was that no one could even do anything about it; like I said, even the mahjarrat feared speaking out against the majority.

Those who disliked it dared not voice their concern for fear of social disgrace or becoming victim to the inquisition of the Praetorians. (Ralvash’s Memories).

11-May-2015 05:14:44 - Last edited on 19-Dec-2015 00:43:03 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Legal Systems
Interestingly enough Sliske was the head of the police. So as you think about Justice in the Zarosian empire, keep in mind it was molded by the whims of Sliske.

Law in the Zarosian Empire was bound to be alien compared to our western versions. It was governed by a being who has no emotion, including compassion, whose only goal at the time was to force the young gods to pay him respect, consequence be damned. Whom had his words interpreted by a self-seeking, corrupt
Here are some Mod Jack quotes pertaining to justice in the empire.

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unsympathetic at best, or downright cruel at worst.


Support.

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I think it's unlikely that Zaros' justice would be the same as yours. Perhaps in Zaros' opinion the value of human life is very low, and the value of order is very high, so the only appropriate punishment for any crime is death. Or perhaps (since we suspect Azzanadra has mind control techniques) the punishment for any crime is mind wiping, or at least having the criminal part of your brain psychic*y lobotomised in a cruel and painful way. None of this is canon, just giving some ideas.

Remember too that the same thing could be true of Armadyl's justice...

Mod Jack said:
Athrenn said:
Yeah good point about micromanaging. I wonder who enforced the laws in the empire! That would good to ask mod Jack


Laws were enforced by the church, which was the same thing as the civil bureaucracy. By the late empire Zaros trusted its running to the human leaders and Azzanadra, but even Azzanadra could only personally supervise a tiny fraction of it.

Like any human institution, I'm sure corruption and inefficiency were tremendous.

11-May-2015 05:14:57 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2016 06:07:40 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Crime

For this section, I'm going to take up a criminological perspective and use theories, and findings that criminologist have used or discovered in our world, and apply them to some of the social aspects in order to create predictions about crime within the empire.


-Sub-culture of power abuse. My prediction is that the Church had developed a sub-culture of power abuse. This is where the social expectations within a culture push people to abuse their power and to marginalize others . Often times people do not want to abuse their power but are threatened by a superior until they conform. This is very likely within the empire due to the many scare tactics, corruption and great marginalizing of people. The interesting thing about Sub-Cultures of Power Abuse is that it is not localized to the elite. When the working class experience corruption, and are marginalized, they loose faith in the system and and take up a cynical view of the world. They are far more likely to commit crimes because of this. Thus we likely had wide scale corruption, and crime on either end of the social classes.

-Availability of Targets/ Central City phenomenon. As Sennistien was the economic/trading center, there would definitely be far more crime in this area since there would be an abundance of targets/merchants etc. Smaller settlements, especially those close to the big ones would experience far less crime.

11-May-2015 05:15:10 - Last edited on 19-Dec-2015 01:07:01 by Cthris

Cthris

Cthris

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Unique Qualities

Like I said before, fear was what ran this nation. While the other empires had their vices, the Zarosians had fear. But Zaros used it to his advantage. His fear spurred the people to create the greatest empire gielinor has ever seen. If only the people could have enjoyed it.

Necromancy. As far as I know, the Zarosian Empire was the only that dabbled in Necromancy in the Second Age.

The Zarosian empire had a cult called the Sombre Vigil, which primarily dealt with Necromancy. Their only known action was to convert the bodies of dead, both imperial and enemy alike, and fuse them into a 30 foot flesh monstrosity. (These seemed to cause great civil unrest, and even resulted in further death) (14)

Necromancy could play some interesting sociological effects on the citizens of the Zarosian Empire.

Death would certainly be a lot different in the Zarosian empire than in any other human civilization in gielinor, and in our own.

The empire also had a rising problem with lunacy. The empire was unsuited to treat the needs of the mentally ill, so instead the church instead "focused on finding productive work for them, typically unpaid work in workhouses or on clerical labour teams." Eventually an asylum was created, but only the most disturbed individuals were allowed to attend as the church did not want to give up it's cheep labor. The asylum accomplished very little and was still very dangerous for staff and patients alike. (16)

The Imperial army most likely had both men and women drafted into the army. Shortly after the fall of Zaros we see that a remaining cult of Zaros has a well trained female warrior so presumably she was a warrior as well during the actual empire. This is unique in some regard as The Song Before the War details the Icyene recruiting party recruiting male human, strongly suggesting that female humans were not welcome to fight in the Saradomin empire. (15)

11-May-2015 05:15:33 - Last edited on 19-Dec-2015 00:51:16 by Cthris

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