Not everyone gets along in the world where women rule. While there is no such thing as racism, ageism, body shaming, or war, each sector is a clique. There are conflicts between women whenever the interests of one sector clashes with another. One example: there is often a palpable enmity between the women of the Arts sector and the women of the Soldier sector. Women of the Arts sector see laws as not pertaining to them, while the soldiers view their enforcement of the laws as the glue that holds the Queendom together.
Conflict between women can be expressed in different ways. Sometimes women who are at odds with each other pointedly ignore each other if their paths cross. Other times there are heated shouting matches. Occasionally quarrels escalate to fist fights.
Then there are blood feuds. A blood feud occurs when one family’s slight of another leads to a grudge that can be passed down for centuries. Whenever there is a murder in Evlantis the first step of the investigating soldier is to determine if the victim was a member of any clan with a blood feud. If she was, then ninety percent of the time, the murderess turns out to be a member of the opposing clan.
While on the surface most women get along, simmering below the veneer of politeness is the subtle expectation that each woman know her proper place in society. Women of daughters are always held in higher esteem than barren women, or women who only bear boys. Popularity, always fickle, can increase status. Serving the Queendom as an elected official increases status. Knowledge can increase amount of respect a woman is shown. Teachers are held in very high esteem. In spite of the conflicts which do occur, life in the Queendom is idyllic for most. Some women even claim that conflict adds some spice to life!
The Queendom of Evlantis is a rough semi-circle set on the edge of an ocean, divided into six wedge shaped sectors: the Government sector, the Agriculture sector, the Religion sector, the Arts sector, the Livestock sector, and the Soldier sector. The People’s Palace and its grounds, including a flower garden and a petting zoo, is located where all the small ends of the wedges meet. It is in the rainbow-shaped band of land located between the grounds of the People’s Palace and the residential area of each sector that you find the Market Place of Evlantis. Everything for sale in Evlantis, to be bartered for or paid for with precious jewels, can be found in this bustling, colorful area of the city.
The Government sector does not produce many goods, though they do produce most of the Queendom’s non-fiction books. The Government sector is one of two sectors that does not require all the market space it owns, so it rents out space to vendors who can’t get booths in their own sector’s market place. The Government market has a plethora of goods from all the sectors for sale.
The Agriculture sector is a bustling place full of stands with fruits and vegetables in season, spices, prepared foods, kiosks to snack in, and lotions and potions with medicinal value. Floral arrangements and seeds are also sold here.
The Religion sector sells incense, statues of the goddesses, and prayer books. It is in the market place of the Religion sector that pregnant women make arrangements for her birthing services: musicians, empathizers, incense, flowers, a birthing pool, and anything else a mother-to-be could desire for her special day.
The Arts sector is one of the most dense market place. Almost every woman in the sector has a slightly different talent and all types of art is available. Books of novels and poetry, paintings and sculptures, tapestries, and jewelry. Love potions and make up can be bought in this marketplace. Musical instruments are made and sold by Arts sector residents. Decorative pottery as well as dishes for food and drink are sold there also.
The Livestock sector is also a densely packed market place. The Livestock sector provides most of the Queendom’s clothing, so it has mostly shops with clothes, shoes, or hats for sale. There are also stands with animals for sale. It is here women buy their household pets, or goats or cows for milk.
The Soldier sector’s market place is much like the Government sector, having a wide variety of goods for sale, because the space is rented out. The only time a soldier takes a booth in the market place is if she has a hobby that produces wares to sell. Even then, soldiers do not have time to sell their products. They contract with a low caste woman from another sector to do the selling for them.
Not all, but the majority of the women in Evlantis are, for most of their lives, ovo-lacto vegetarians. They do not consume meat, but they do eat eggs and dairy byproducts. Normally food is plentiful in the Queendom, since their entire society evolved around matching city resources to the six thousand women who live within its walls.
Scholars credit the success of the city to the very roots their society came from…their early nomadic days. While no woman is comfortable thinking about living without a permanent home hearth, the benefit of their foremothers’ suffering is undeniable. In the centuries before they made Evlantis their permanent home, women collected plants and seeds for everything they came across that was edible or had medicinal value. The farmlands of Evlantis are vast and sophisticated due to the forethought to save every seed and every plant they could. Fields are irrigated, crops are rotated, composting is a routine practice to keep the earth rich with nutrients. There are orchards of fruit bearing trees, and fields of berry bushes. There is a wide variety of edible foods, lettuces, legumes, all manner of vegetables and grains as well as many herbs and spice plants.
Rich, vegetable stews, hearty and full of taste due to flavorful herbs, are a favorite and a staple. So are roasted vegetables, crispy on the outside and sweet on the inside. Thick brown breads, as well as savory garlic flat breads serve to make vegetable sandwiches. Vegetables and fruits are complemented with eggs, butter, milk, yogurt, cheese, all foods that are byproducts from a living animal.
While everyday cooking and baking is far beneath the station of genteel women, gourmet cooking and baking is very much encouraged among citizens. Cooking and baking basics are taught in school, just in case one of the children is a budding chef. Gossip parlors are always looking for new recipes to tempt their patrons with and will pay well for any new delicacy.
Most women are vegetarians most of the time due to their great love for the animal queendom. The exception is that during pregnancy many women crave meat and eat meat. It is looked upon as a personal sacrifice to eat meat for the health of one’s child.
The other exception is the Soldier Sector. Most soldiers do eat meat because it has long been established that strength increases when animal flesh is consumed. Soldiers do not value life less because of this, indeed, they seek to take on traits of the beasts they prefer to consume and always give thanks to the animals which are sacrificed so that they can be the best soldier they can be.
Comparing the timeline of History to that of Herstory is like comparing apples and oranges. There was an ancient period of Herstory where women were involuntarily nomadic, moving from place to place as resources to feed and clothes themselves and their children ran low. The over-arching push in the development of the world women rule was to have a safe, stable place to raise children. That desire for stability was what drove huwoman invention. For example, in the women's world running water was invented long before the wheel!
There are other differences as well:
Written language developed very early on. The development of sign language was early and lasting to increase the efficacy of communication. Communication, in all forms, is greatly valued in the development of the women’s world. Knowledge is prized more highly than wealth and just slightly below status. Printing presses were another advancement that took place much earlier in Herstory than in History.
Treatments for diseases developed at a faster pace than weapons, as did gardening tools, cooking tools, and other health care tools.
Familial relationships, particularly between mothers and daughters, were extremely important. Womankind did not splinter off into the world in smaller groups, but stayed together.
Mankind, with their tendency toward exploration and dominance, lost their rights slowly over the years until, by the time mother Eve founded the original city of Evlantis, the men had lost their rights completely and were forced to provide the city with free labor.
In the period of Herstory that The Queendom of Evlantis takes place in, all civilization is believed to exist within the walls of the city. Soldiers stand guard facing the city, a vigil to keep the citizens in. There are no threats outside the walls that cannot be contained. The biggest challenges in the women's world lie within the city limits.