The Bowen

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The Bowen

Postby Paint Scribe » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:35 pm

Of the Bears, the Bowen "Family First" are a unique family. They rarely interact with other Bears, and even less so with members of other Houses. In fact, they tend to be very xenophobic about other houses. Only a select few Falcons and Bears (who are not Bowen) receive permission to enter Bowen lands to engage in trade. Despite their isolation, the Bowen control large amounts of jungle-like land that could not be carved out by anything less than sheer Strength. Their castles are usually built aloft, in trees, and though not of stone, the fortresses the trees provide are impressive. The few outsiders who are permitted to see them often are struck dumb by the beauty of them. All Bowen Architects must have a beauty of 4. There was even one family who brought in a Fox to help them. There are dastardly rumors of what he was given in exchange for his services, though that family line is known to possess an extraordinary number of artisans of various sorts.

Also, the Bowen are the most loyal and devoted of the Bear families. A Bowen is loyal first and foremost to his/her wives and husbands. Yes, plural. Bowen are polygamists. Since the empire does not acknowledge proper polygamy, they developed certain patterns to allow their practice to not be suspect by outsiders.

A Bowen has a first mate. This is the spouse legally recognized by the Senate. then, the Bowen will find two to three other couples who suit their personality and skills. They will select one of their number to be Family Leader (count) and then they will petition a related Bowen Marquiss or Duke in the area. They will present the lands they have inherited or earned by their strength, and the reasons they wish to become a family unit. Love is an acceptable reason as long as they prove they have Strength to hold the jungle. Once approved, they go through a ceremony and using the only sorcery publicly permitted, they create a blood contract to marry each other as a group, with Family Leader as Head of the household(seen by the outside world as Count). The contract extends past the death of any of the members and can only be broken when one of the members engages in a liaison with someone not brought into the family contract.

Bringing someone into the family is easily done, for they do not need to leave the family to decide. Though, I never found an actual copy, it would appear the Marriage Blood Contract is such that new members may be written into it. However, only death can write someone out of it. It is assumed that anyone given a title was written into the marriage contract. Also, it is rare for Bowen to live anywhere but in the Head of Household’s fortress. They all build onto it, quickly expanding it into a comfortable place for all to abide. All forms of sexuality occur between married family members. Since only blooded adults can marry into a household, you need not worry about any less desirable things happening.

However, a Bowen who breaks the marriage blood contract, and is branded Traitor must die. It is a severe punishment, though, they feel it warranted. For there should be no reason to every need to have a liaison outside of the family contract. Falling in love with a Bowen from another family unit, can result in the two family merging. If three of these merge, they may select a new Head of House to be Marquis.

Also, because of the nature of the Bowen, most do not even know what Romance is. Except that it seems to be a game designed by silly outsiders who do not appreciate the merits of polygamy.

There is very little written of the conflict Bowen experience, aside from the poor fools who fall in love with the traders, as the Bowen seemed particularly insistent on keeping that matter secret. They did not wish their weaknesses being seen by the world. However, anyone who has experienced marriage might well understand what might occur when one has a half dozen plus spouses living under the same roof.

My sources:
*The secret lives of Jungle Bears, by Vizaraa Mwrr and Biana Thorne.
*Many lovers, One Marriage: A study of the peculiar Bowen. Vizaraa Mwrr and Biana Thorne
*The Jungle Fortress, a Pillowbook by Azana Y’varai

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