Society and Culture
Daily life among the Ebnatithiuda was similar to that found among the settlements of other Northmen in Rhovanion.They were a practical people who placed much emphasis on the virtues of a hard days labor. While wealth was the object of all working men, opulence, particularly in the public eye was generally regarded as a vice. What has set the Ibnatithuida apart from many of their Northman cousins was their cosmopolitan nature. Most local merchants took pride in their reputation as diplomats among the varied peoples of Southern Rhun. The very survival of the settlement,surrounded as it was by so many different and sometimes alien cultures, was a testament to the open-mindedness of its citizenry. The Ebnathuida and their homesteads in the Cairn Angle stood as a single constant presence in a land that was an ever-changing patchwork of cultures.The men of the Cairn Angle were also great lovers of festival.Celebrations were raucous events involving public games and demonstrations of strength and skill. Drinking, loud singing,and dancing were community events that served to bind people to get appointed to act as a judge and oversee the affairs of the town. The Town Master met frequently with a Town Council consisting of thirteen advisors that represented the people and guilds of the city. In times of crisis, festival, or at the request of the Town Master, the rural Thyns would travel to the city to form a super-council in which decisions of great import might be debated.
Religion in the Cairn Angle was a complicated issue. Religious belief varied greatly from tribe to tribe, culture to culture, and sometimes family to family. Among these traditions were beliefs that centered on the natural spirits of Northman tradition, the hero-ancestors of the Odhriags and even some of the deities worshipped by the Urgath and Brygath. A large interjection of Gondorian influence in the early Third Age brought reverence of the Valar to the populace. All of these traditions tended to merge together during festivals. For example, while the local harvest festival hearkened back to sacrificial ceremonies practiced by the local Donath peoples,the Northman cult of the Tree also used the same four dayspan to celebrate its Festival of Colors. Many superstitions of local origin added to the corpus of belief, creating a truly unique blend of religious practice.Though ritualized ceremonies were rare among the Ibnatithiuda, numerous festivals and holidays did exist. Some,like the Shogmar (Od. "Joining"), were borrowed from neighboring cultures. Originally celebrated by the few Odhriag families of Ermanareiksbaurg to commemorate the alliance that gave birth to their culture, this holiday now served to reinforce the identity of the town as a place distinct from other Northman settlements. The heroes that were worshipped were figures prominent in the history of Ermanareiksbaurg, and their particularly eastern branch of Northman culture. Other holidays existed that recalled their roots in Eriador,commemorated the victory of Elendil, and even demonized the treacherous merchants that ruled the town in the days of Vidugavia.
Ermanareiksbaurg and the culture of the Ebnatithuida was once born out of warfare. In their roots, the Eriadoran settlers of the Cairn Angle were members of a military company, and this martial tradition had not died over the years. Just as military readiness was highly regarded in the ranks of Elendil the Tall, so too was it valued among the garrison of the town.This emphasis on personal strength and martial skill had been augmented as Ebnatithuida culture was infused with Odhriag values. A close alliance between these two peoples over much of their history allowed both cultures to exist in a land that had frequently been the domain of nomads driven to violence by desperation. The defense of the town was again bolstered when the governor of Dor-Rhûnen decided to build a Gondorian frontier outpost on the outskirts of the town to safeguard the interest of the King along the eastern traderoutes. The Barad Ithil was a stone tower that stood watch over the eastern approaches to the city. Though the Gondorian garrison had been recently withdrawn, the tower was stillcconstantly manned by a troop of the town's garrison.
In personal combat, the armed men of Ermanareiksbaurg favored the weapons of their fathers. Northmen used the mounted lance, the broadsword, the small shield, and scale or chainmail armors. Men of Odhriag descent typically favored the scimitars, target shields, and short bows for which their parent culture was known. Mounted combat was universally preferred, as it gave the town's defenders the ability to maneuver with their most common foe, Sagath war bands.The town was guarded by men paid out of the coffers of the Town Master (which were fed by taxes). This permanent guard was readily supplemented by armed citizens in times of strife.The citizenry might also take up arms to form a militia if it became necessary to hunt down fugitives from the rulings of the Town Master. This could be particularly dangerous for the accused, since the wronged were allowed and even encouraged to organize and lead the possie. It was felt that this policy lead to the swift enactment of the Town Master's judgements. This policy had also increased the occurrence of Northman vigilantism, and even blood-feuding since it encouraged individuals to exact their own revenge.
As virtually none of the ethnic groups and races present in Ermanareiksbaurg had passed the years without some sort of mingling with the other groups present, the Ebnatithiuda were avery diverse people in regard to appearance. This slow merging of genetic lines has muted many of the most notable features of the contributing peoples. The result is that most people of Easterling descent were not quite so short as their nomadic cousins. Northmen of the Cairn Angle tended to be shorter than the Rhevain clans of the north. The individual features usually associated with each of the races represented among the Ibnatithiuda could be found mixed to varying degrees among all the townsfolk.Clothing among the Men of the Cairn Angle was also diverse.While many wore garb similar to that of Northmen, others can be found sporting garments of Easterling origin. For the most part though, the Ebnatithiuda employed the most sensible apparel from each of the cultures represented based upon climate, occupation, and individual choice.
Original form in the Inland Sea Module : Ibnathiuda