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Athelstan:

A Just Society
By: Tristan Griggs
Background Information
Athelstan is an ancient society which was
first established in 793 A.D., the start of
what would come to be known as the Viking
Era. It exists on a small island, Conan,
which lies on the outskirts of Scandinavia,
and is thought to have been brought about by
a small religious group called the Athels.
Though the specifics of their religion
remain unknown, it is believed that the
Athels were victims of near-constant
persecution, and, after fleeing their
homeland of Norway, sought to create as
peaceful a society as possible in their new
land.
Social Structure: A Society of Equals
Perhaps one of the most interesting
aspects of Athelstanian society is the
way in which they are thought to have
arranged themselves socially - which is
not at all. Studies of ancient Athelian
settling grounds would suggest that the
group had no set form of currency,
presumably to discourage the emergence of
any sort of social hierarchy that could
disrupt their tranquil way of life.
Translated texts would also suggest that
the communitys citizens lived in
identical stone huts, no one fancier or
more extravagant than any other, despite
the positions of those who lived in them.
The Athelstanian way of life is best
characterized by the way in which the
society chose to distribute its resources.
The community as a whole adhered to a very
simple idea - those who need, shall have.
Age-old works tell of group gatherings in
which it would be determined which families
needed the most tools, cattle, plant

Distribution of
harvests, and so on, giving way to the
popular Athelian sentiment:

The many, for the few.

Resources These gatherings, while speaking volumes as to


the Athelian values, also act as modern
societys only clue as to what form of
government they may have had. All texts and
prints documenting the events seem to depict a
system of direct democracy facilitated by a
council of some sort, known as the mediators.
Because of this, it is commonly believed that
the group decided most matters through the use
of majority vote, resolving any conflicts
between those votes through the compromising
efforts of their council.
Institutions
Interestingly enough, though they managed to hold
a number of sophisticated social gatherings and
community events, very few buildings have been
identified in Athelstanian settling grounds.
Besides the homes of the Athels themselves,
archaeologists claim, there are often only what
appear to be places of worship and solitary farms.
In this way, the most essential institution to
Athelian life is the hub of all of their business
and leisure activities: An open field. In the 3
Athelstanian communities which have yet been found
on the island of Conan, there is always one such
field, which looks to function as a school, a
trading post, and a sort of recreational garden.
In theory, this central area of simultaneous work
and play supplied the Athels with a constant sense
of interconnectedness. It reminded them of
responsibility while they played, leisure while
they worked, and served to discourage dishonesty
or aggression in all social interactions.
Love

Acceptance Cooperation

Honesty Loyalty

Equality Values Generosity

Patience Intelligence

Humility
General Laws
True to their usual form, the Athels kept their legal
system simple. It was focused primarily on moral
infractions, and included only 10 laws in total. Of these
10, it is believed that 3 in particular were most
closely-held within the community:

We do not take what is not given


We do not knowingly trick our brethren in trade
We do not kill our kin of Earth
Retributions
One of the best-known facts of Athelstanian
society is the populations administration of only
one punishment for all crimes: banishment. Because
the Athels didnt believe in execution, but also
refused to allow moral impurity within the walls
of their community, all citizens found committing
crimes of immorality were taken to a safe location
just off of the island of Conans shore, given
enough resources to make for themselves a new
sanctuary, and sent off to forge their own way in
the world. Though viewed by some as a punishment
worse than death, considering the conditions of
all livable lands surrounding Conan at the time,
ancient texts suggest that the Athels themselves
saw the punishment as righteous, the only way to
reform one who has harmed without risking taint to
the society of which harm has been done to.
The Athelstanian

Anthem:
and know that
We see the open
we are safe.
spaces, we see
Through toil
the rolling sky,
and our
we see the
comrades
waters roiling
blood we have
edge and threat
the oppressor
of days gone by.
escaped. In
We see the
Athelstan we
morns horizon,
trust.