₁Once woman and Man existed in a Beautiful Garden. ₂The garden was bountiful and provided all that the woman
and man would need. ₃But the Man was seduced by the Stars and feverish he
lent all his skill and drive to reaching them. ₄He bent his knowledge to shaping the garden to his will,
raping it on the
altar of his pride. ₅His thoughts were bent outwards a
nd he was blind to the suffering within the garden.
₆The Garden was in pain. The Garden was dying. It could no longer support the works of man but could not bear to see them de-stroyed. ₇When man’s work led to its eventual conclusion the Gar-den protected the Man and Woman so they did not die. ₈The Garden then spoke to the Woman, “Man has squandered our gifts and gravely injured us. We have sheltered you from the fire he unleashed. You must help us heal and you must guide the way now. ₉There must not be another fire. The garden must be restored”.
-The Book of Restoria
Chapter 1 verses 1-9
The Matriarchy is impossible to separate from the principles of Restoria, and any attempt to describe one must include the other. The Matriarchy is a homogeneous culture spread over a wide area united by the principles/religion of Restoria. The Matriarchy itself covers far more area than its population would suggest, divided into self-sufficient settlements surrounded by wilderness. This is intentional. The Matriarchy believes that no more than one tenth of land should be used by humans, the rest being left to ‘recover’. This policy of leaving the majority of the land to go wild has made the Matriarchy the most aggressive, expansionist faction in the land.
The Matriarchy might lack the sheer numbers that the Aristoc or Falket have, or the technological superiority of the Peacekeepers, but they do boast a unifying certainty of belief, that some might describe as fanatical, that has ensured a steady creeping increase in the Matriarchy’s holdings.
The Restoria Matriarchy is technically a Theocratic Kritarchy. Authority is held by Priest-Judges, always female, who hold secular power as well as a religious position. Each settlement usually has a single Judge, or a small council in the larger settlements. These Judges, in addition to having literal life or death authority over their ‘flock’, are also personally responsible for the behaviour of said flock, answerable to the Choir. The Choir travel from place to place ensuring the principles of Restoria are being upheld by closely interviewing the Judges as to their conduct and the conduct of those under their authority. Poor performance in this interview can have dire repercussions.
Outside of the ruling systems the most obvious difference within the Matriarchy is the place of men. All males within the Matriarchy are under the ‘governorship’ of an appointed female. Precisely who this governor is will vary based on the individual’s situation and probably on their age. Young boys will be under the governorship of their mother; later in life it might be their wife (the Matriarchy practices Polyandry); their superior officer, if in a military based organisation; or their employer, if part of a business venture.
The Matriarchy denies claims that men are women’s property, rather that it ensures appropriate guidance is always available to help men resist their darker impulses.
The premise is simple – the old world was ruled by men. This rule led to the Burn. The Earth herself saved some of humanity so as we might have a second chance, but this time we must do things differently.
The Matriarchy believes that the male of the species has empirically proven that it is unfit to hold positions of power and leadership. From now on these positions are the sole providence of women. This is not to say that Restoria believes men to be lesser (although it is not uncommon for this view to be expressed unofficially) but that the genders have different strengths, and authority was given to woman.
The interplay between the genders is the core of the religious beliefs: the Matriarchy believes that the Planet is a God – Goddess actually – who was grievously wounded by the Burn. This ‘wounded Goddess ’ is now relying on mankind to heal her, preserving a small measure of humanity through the Burn in order to rebuild a society that will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Followers of Restoria seek to create a civilisation that avoids the mistakes of the past. These mistakes, it believes, are a male led culture that focused on technology at the expense of nature, and power at the expense of culture. This approach, they believe, led inevitably to the Great Burn.
Restoria recognises that technology and power, and all such masculine attributes, have a necessary place, but their unfettered propagation will be, and has been, disastrous. Followers of Restoria seek a middle ground of carefully controlled reconstruction of civilisation in harmony with the natural world, an approach that manifests as an iron fisted control of development within the Matriarchy’s sphere of influence.
Expanding that sphere of influence is also important to followers of Restoria. This is primarily good old fashioned evangelism, but has on occasion been done by more forceful methods, particularly if a settlement was perceived as overly damaging to the environment.