Baen Culture

Baen culture varies between groups, naturally, but there are some common threads throughout their species that should be mentioned.

Sexual Freedom and Gender Theory

Compared to many other species, the bae maintain a remarkable level of sexual freedom in their societies for the most part, especially amongst the middle and lower classes. Polygamy has been legal in all bae societies for tens of thousands of years, and many bae have primary, secondary, and tertiary mates, within or outside of legal marriage. The bae are also exceptionally laid-back when it comes to non-heterosexuality.

The historical baen views on sexuality may be due their ideas regarding gender. Gender is seen as something that exists on a continuum, rather than as two antitheses. The term aklassa, meaning roughly “spectrum” is often used to refer to the scale of gender. At one end is what is called nokre, or heavy masculinity. At the other is nussrettes, or heavy femininity. In the center is something termed seno╩âete, or “not on either side”, or total gender neutrality. It believed that every individual experiences shifts between these three points in some point in their life. There are no names for any position between these, but they are often referenced in description of the identities and behaviors of individuals.

Chaos as a Source of Power

There is an underlying cultural idea amongst the bae that chaos is a source of power, and should not automatically be disrupted or reverted to perfect order. Chaos is seen as a necessary vitality in sentient beings and it is often praised as the stimulus that engenders positive parts of society and culture, such as artistic and scientific accomplishments. Of course, the different subspecies have different views on chaos, some embracing it more, others tempering it while still hoping to reap its supposed benefits. The Megana are an example of the former: their entire subspecies has a reputation, both among other species and the bae, for being unpredictable, even unstable at times. At the other end of the spectrum there are the Mei, who are more conservative and orderly when it comes to government, law, and their behavior as a whole in general.

Isolationism

This aspect of baen culture has faded greatly over time, specifically when the bae discovered how beneficial commerce with the amelae was. Nonetheless, the bae prefer to keep to themselves, often concealing the locations of their cities and fortresses to outsiders. They rarely interact with other species unless it is to trade, or, on rare occasions, to fight.