“But I heard that men are banned from Amazon cities, and that if you catch any, you boil them alive and then use their bones for witchcraft.”
“No. We do not do that.”
Hailing from the remote and rugged Land of the Phoenix, the Amazons are among the most poorly-understood peoples of Realmgard.
What most the continent’s population outside the Land of Phoenix think they know about Amazons could fill volumes; what it actually does know is significantly less substantial.
The first confirmed report in the historical record of the Amazons as a distinct group coincides with the downfall and fragmentation of the ancient Elven Empire, with a brief account of a group of female Elven refugees taking up arms to defend their families.
Much of Amazon history is muddled by romanticism and exaggeration, and the Amazons’ own histories have not yet widely spread throughout the rest of the continent, so the popular notions of Amazon life and culture remain better-known than any true accounts.
In general, the Amazons continue to be a source of fascination and controversy for Realmgardian scholars.
It is not generally disputed that all Amazons have exclusively female children. The cause for this is not known with certainty.
By the Amazons’ own accounts, the ancestresses of later generations of Amazons were cursed by an arrogant enemy sorcerer who believed no woman would ever be strong enough to defeat him and attempted to ensure his victory by preventing the early Amazons from ever giving birth to sons.
The Amazons proudly note that their forebears promptly proved the sorcerer wrong and defeated him with an army of women.
Whatever the ultimate cause for it, even down to the present, all Amazons are women and all children of Amazons are Amazons themselves regardless of their fathers’ origins.
That men are forbidden from Amazon communities is untrue. Married Amazons will either welcome their husbands and stepsons into their communities or travel to live in their husbands’ homelands. Similarly male travellers are given hospitable welcomes to Amazon communities.
Many young Amazons choose to venture beyond the borders of their homeland to explore the wider continent, allowing these Amazon travels both to bring knowledge from the rest of Realmgard back home and to educate the rest of the continent about their own culture.
It is also incorrectly believed that all Amazons are full-time warriors. It is true that all young Amazons are given a basic level of military training from a young age, but after completing this preliminary training they are welcome to pursue whatever career they choose.
Amazons value martial and intellectual pursuits equally.
The primary Amazon deity is the goddess Parthene, depicted as a perpetually young warrior woman. The main sanctuary of the goddess is located at almost the exact centre of the ten major Amazon collectively cities known at the Decapolis, on a holy island in Lake Koron, which serves as the “eye” of the Land of the Phoenix.
The Amazons also practice a form of ancestor worship, invoking the aid of the spirits of previous generations. The ten most-highly venerated figures in Amazon history are known as the Ten Most Worthy Women and are the namesakes of the ten cities of the Decapolis.