Origins of the House-based Society

The basic Gelvani social model of the Alathan, or House, can be traced back to the time immediately after their expulsion from Arvanis.

As the Gelvani deities were in a literal sense the ancestors of the various bloodlines (Que'Gelvani, Drey'Gelvani, etc.), it was only natural for the now-mortal children of the Sixth Blood to gravitate toward their parents and their elders for leadership. In addition, one must also consider the effect their greatly extended lifespans had on their developing societies. A Gelvani literally has four times as much time to accumulate knowledge and experience. This combined with their access to powerful magic (priestly, arcane, or otherwise) ensured that an elder Gelvani would be dramatically more powerful compared to his younger counterparts than, say, an elder human to a young human.

This accumulation of power also meant that there was less of a need for Gelvani to gather in larger settlements, like humans do. Smaller population sizes combined with bonds of blood made it natural for Gelvani to focus more on family-based units as opposed to Duneimen-style villages, towns, and cities - where many individuals might claim kinship with one another, but power and rulership is determined by other means.

True, there are what people might term Gelvani cities. It's worth noting, however, that most of these were either founded out of need (for instance, Gelvani gathering their Houses in numbers necessary to defend themselves from an external foe) or to be in close proximity to something mutually important (for instance, to be near a great temple, a great tower of wizardry, a natural resource, the ruling House of the realm, etc.).

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