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Ancient Aelyrian Culture

The perceived culture of the Ancient Aelyrians.
Further Reading: Ancient Aelyrians

Contents


[top]Organization


The earliest historians made extensive study of the artifacts found upon Insula Coronae to gather a basic understanding of how Aelyrian society is organized, and since their return to the world, much has been done to unlock the secrets of how these great and tragic people relate to one another. A fundamentally egalitarian people who hold men and women in equal respect, the Ancients have very defined views on how gender influences decision-making. Most women are considered deliberative and judicious, and most men are considered decisive and controlling. Yet these are only social normative values and not physiological constraints; men and women among the Ancients have attained equal status and have shared in all things.

[top]The Family

Biologically, the Ancient Aelyrians are born to a familial House. Following an impassioned magical mating ritual between man and woman, successful impregnation leads to a gestation period lasting approximately nine months, after which time, a child is born. Yet, the child is not raised by neither Mother nor Father, but instead brought up in the care of grandparents, great-aunts and uncles; in effect, an entire generation removed. This is not to say that parents, who are revered for their virtues, are in any way absent from the child's upbringing. To the contrary, they impart the fundamental values communally commanded by the broader familial house; the parents symbolically represent the twin-triumvirates of Law, Order, and Justice; and, Intellect, Knowledge, and Wisdom. And nevertheless, despite the involvement of elders in raising children, there is an apparent lack of familial intimacy or primacy. Instead, greater emphasis is placed upon the choice to associate with those of like-mind.

[top]The People


Most mortal races associate around the family-unit, but aside from recognizing their parents (or Progenitores, as they are termed), the Ancients are organized around voluntary ideological groupings known as Gentes, or "clans" or "people". These People have a certain world-view of reality and strive to live their existences in accordance with a certain lifestyle. There are three Great Peoples among the Ancient Aelyrians, though there are dozens of lesser-known communities holding similar core value-driven ideologies.
Gens Aether believes in the cultivation of the Artes Doces, or Twelve Arts, consisting of Sutra, Poetry, Prose, Music, Sculpting, Calligraphy, Dance, Courtship, Drawing, Healing, Painting, and the Arcane.
Further Reading: A Primer to Trades
Gens Ine holds a strict adherence to reclusive contemplation, disciplined logic, and meaningful meditation; the denial of passions and resistance to temptations heightens the quality of life.

Gens Ala urges a submission to nature, and in this submission, allowing radical change and impulsive decisions to shape the course of destiny.

[top]The Nation

The final mechanism of organization was the Patria, or "nation", which unlike the Gentes was not voluntary. Instead, the Ancients are born into one of the three Great Nations of their civilization, which originally stem from geography, but now also encompass familial lineage. Mixed-marriages, or an intermingling of the nations, is largely considered an abomination which results in spawn born who are shunned by all Gentes and in turn have none to call their own. Most of these carnal creations are aborted or destroyed in ritualistic infanticide, thereby strengthening the stranglehold that the nations have upon civilization. The three Great Nations of families and houses in their civilization are:
Patria Ara, the "Highborne", tracing their lineage to the original people who dwelled in the palace-city around Mount Corona. Believing themselves imbued with the purest essence of divinity, the Highborne dominated Ancient society through their ownership of the temples, palaces, and shrines, and are the naturally-revered leaders of the Conclave. Within the Ara, the Ancients believe in a matrixed hierarchy of function over form, and as a consequence, their contributions tend to result in terrifying efficient organizations that ruthlessly accomplish calculated designs of the Ancient civilization. Most Ara hold that all other life-forms in existence are inferior and worthy only to be enslaved to serve the Ancients.

Patria Eler, the "Merited", link their heritage to the inland temple-city upon the Insula Coronae. Holding that people are born into existence with an opportunity to succeed, they hold-fast to a deep and inherent ideology of meritocracy, that only those who through great faith and good works should reap the rewards of prosperity. Collectively, the Eler hold a consensus-driven social foundation of equality and collaboration, whereby their contributions focus upon achieving the so-called Greater Good for all peoples. Consequently, their contributions tend to emphasize incremental progress towards measurable goals and their organization and lifestyle often exists for its own sake, emphasizing form over function and producing the result of generating confidence and approval. Though they hold that the multiverse was created by the gods to benefit the Ancients, most Eler believe they have a duty to preserve and protect all life.

Patria Retax, the "Oathsworn", have a heraldic bloodpledge that originate in the great city-state along the Shores. Knowing amongst themselves that they were unleashed upon the world with torn existences, they believe that they are born dead and must strive to earn the right to live; they consider this a divine oath which they must fulfill. Among the Retax, there is a rigidly stratified hierarchy of roles and responsibilities and a general principle that all power radiates downward and accountability is subjugated upward; the most decisive and calculated plans of the Ancients have originated from the Retax, often organized around a central stratagem that maintains that the Ends justify the Means. Acknowledging their great fortune and terrible gifts, most Retax believe that life is meant for the taking and that all creatures, great and small, have a divine right to determine their own Destiny.

[top]Throneworld

Millennia ago, the Ancient Aelyrians made their home on Insula Coronae, a small isle crowned by a magical palace atop a shining mountain. Theology maintains that the gods themselves directed the evolutionary stages of the Chosen Ones by blessing them with these extraordinary abilities. Many of these divine gifts were later realized with devastating and calculating consequences in the form of their advanced magical technologies. Upon the Isle of the Crown they had their first tool of great power: a talisman of their own creation which gifted magic to the mortal races. The Aethergem, now fractured and ruined, was once the sole talisman of power in the world through which other magic users would cast all their spells. It was also a terrible prison, an anchor that was used by the Aelyrians in their collective society to impose order from within and combat chaos from without. Upon their mysterious return shortly after the fall of the Third Empire, the Ancients reoccupied their homeland and brought down their majestic floating isles and mighty palaces to create their new home, the Throneworld.

Upon the original isle were their largely abandoned settlements - the villages along the coasts, such as Oppiddum (a city-state) and Vacus (a spiritual see); and, the Conclave, a palatial crystalline structure made almost entirely of the rare magical mineral Aetherium, found mainly upon the isle in very small quantities. From within the Conclave, now dwelling beneath the modern-day Highcrown Palace, the Ancients governed their society through a collective deliberative assembly by the same name. The Throneworld today consists of the original isle and several other notable areas: a floating island city-state known as the Overcity of Ikerael and the Apotheosis, a shining palace in the heavens said to be the point of creation, where the hand of god touched the world to create his children.

Though they possess wings, and with these appendages able to fly great distances without the need for rest, most Ancient habitat makes use of pedestrian infrastructure. The advanced sedentary civilization of the Ancients intermingles living among the world and flying above it, much of their art and architecture emphasizing a harmonious unity between seemingly opposing components - such as magic and technology, and physical buildings and the natural world. The Overcity, where most of the Ancients live, is an example of a thriving beautiful metropolis that demonstrates the unity of their divine supremacy with a desire to dominate the natural world. Even so, the Ancients, while reliant upon their Throneworld for their serenity, consider the whole world and indeed the multiverse to be their dominion and their ultimate concern.

[top]Combat

Because they are imbued with a direct tether to the Astral Plane, their tenuous hold upon the physical makes Ancient Aelyrians ill-suited to learn any martial art or weapon craft; they are thusly not capable of wielding arms, as such. Instead, their alignment with the multiverse results in a very weak and frail physical form, incapable of strengthening their hold upon the material existence. They augment their combat with their devastating magical powers, which are considerable.

Ancient Aelyrians direct much of their power cerebrally in ways that mortals can not usually comprehend; they weave magical spells as if they were imagining an outcome and witnessing the circumstances simply materialize before them. When engaged in armed combat, Ancients make use of devices designed to direct their material presence such as ceremonial daggers, runic staves, or blazing swords. The most famous of these are the Falchion, a single-edged sword that can channel auras (which often appear as glowing or radiant flames) and direct these with the weight and power of an axe with the versatility of a sword. These come in a variety of configurations, though the gem-studded hilt of the long-sword wielded by the Aelyrian soldiers, or Guardians, is the most prominent. Also common is the Greatstaff, a long regal scepter with an ornate orb at one end and a sharp spike upon the other, wielded with a threatening sweeping motion to direct blunting directional force.

Without their magic, Ancient Aelyrians are defenseless. With their great powers, they begin combat with decisive and devastating attacks against their foes, but the longer battle drags on, the more prone they become to tactical errors, until ultimately they must withdraw to recuperate their focus. As a general consequence, the Ancients prefer to lead armies of mortals rather than constitute their own armies, unless if they are certain of a swift and total triumph, which they are most capable of doing. Nevertheless, patience triumphs over these impulsive spellcasters and as any other creature in existence, they can and have been slain due to their own desperation to conclude the battle on their favorable terms.
Further Reading: Ancient Aelyrian Magic

[top]Civilization

Though the Ancients have a complex civilization, they often vacillate between two vicious extremes in how they choose to relate to the rest of the world. When they are xenophobic isolationists, they tend to view all other races as nuisances to be tolerated at best or adversaries to be vanquished at worst, and engage in clandestine operations to accomplish many of their objectives without making people aware of their presence or designs. When they are protective extroverts, the Ancient Aelyrians work hard to earn their status as leaders and labor to be bearers of great accomplishments and glorious legacies. It was, after all, the Realm that they founded which survives to this day in their name. One can never be certain which world-view predominates over their civilization, or how long one may be sustained over the other. Yet, despite their great autonomy and complex government which orders their own people, the Ancient Aelyrians believe themselves inextricably linked and duty-bound to the welfare and circumstances of the Kingdom that they founded and the Empire that they forged. To this end, all Aelyrians believe themselves to be responsible for leading the Realm, and in this way, they hope to imprint their legacy upon it for better or for worse.

[top]Credit

Credit goes to Kaelon


Created by Nimh, October 8, 2014 at 09:30 AM
Last edited by Nimh, October 12, 2014 at 08:27 AM
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