Archive for the Culture Category

Emarion Names

Posted in Culture on October 27, 2008 by Eathanu

In Emaria, the tradition is to name a child with whatever sounds good to the parents. That said, there are conventional meanings for certain vowels if placed at the beginning of a name. An “A” denotes affection, and is common for the first letter of Emarion names (Anselm, Arkturus, Azreal), especially single children, as they are their parents’ only progeny. An “E” denotes some kind of greatness (Eathanu) or destiny, and is more common to children of military families. An “I” is rarely used, but mostly feminine and used to show a scholarly nature, and is often the first letter of a long name (Inuama, Itimusia).

“O,” while not limited to such, is traditionally the first name of kings and other royalty. It shows power of the mind and body, and partly as a sign of respect the lower classes do not so frequently use the letter for their children. Interestingly, to Aerai culture, which in most cases neatly mirrors Emarion, “O” is a masculine letter used for disgrace, “with the king being the only exception,” as they put it. (Examples: Ocato, Odessa, Osiris)

“U” is used very infrequently for the first letter of a name just because it’s a strong sound on its own and doesn’t fit well at the start of a word. Regardless, it represents a beautiful simplicity in a person, not necessarily of the mind, but of the nature. A farmer who wishes his offspring to have an uneventful life might name his child with a “U” name. (Examples: Uncoste, Ulycai)

Most names don’t start with a vowel, but the first syllable of any word contains at least one, and in most cases the first vowel in any name is considered as above, though if it is not the first letter as well, it’s frequently considered to be less emphasized. Silvikk is a monk and a scholar, but that is not all she is, and it’s not particularly her passion.

Also of note in Emarion culture is that, when a couple marries, they choose how the names are distributed. For example, some women take the man’s last name, but keep their old last name as their new first name. Some couples exchange last names. The most traditional practise, however, is also the most familiar: one person takes the last name of the other.

Emarion Craftsmanship

Posted in Culture on October 20, 2008 by Eathanu

Emarions are considered some of the best artisans in regards to some crafts. The typical styles vary widely, but beauty as seen by Emarions usually entails a mix of harsh angles and rounded edges used in complex but predictable patterns. Emarion artists like to paint or sculpt architecture more than anything else, with later artists creating impossible or exotic structures, often inspired by the complicated Materian engineering exhibited on their planet and their colony on Azureus.

The materials Emarions use are traditionally extracted by the artists themselves (trees planted for the wood, flowers grown for the colours taken from petals, ores mined for the metals they smelt into), though sometimes the artist is unable or the times call for a more efficient division of labour. Blacksmiths, especially in times of war, tend to buy metal to craft their weapons and armour.

The epitome of Emarion craftsmanship is the Kaska, a weapon used by particularly skilled Emarion warriors and customized to whoever uses it. It consists of a rod that is a certain balanced length and weight, dependent on the wielder, that allows for the elaborate flourishes and acrobatics involved in using the weapon. Because they are custom-made for the person who uses them, Kaska are frequently decorated heavily with beautiful etchings or dyes, and adorn the graves of their owners if they do perish.

Azureus is home to many distinct cultures, and while Emaria is not necessarily the most varied (humans are, of course), they are arguably the most prolific.

Emarion Pets

Posted in Culture on October 9, 2008 by Eathanu

The concept of ownership over an animal is fairly limited in Emaria (though it is not illegal by any means and several human factions as well as many alien species practise it. That said, many people do seek the companionship of animals, on an optional basis.

The most common animal for Emarions to befriend is the Rilli (which I covered in their article). These friendships are different from others in that Rilli are fairly intelligent on their own, and only loyal out of conscious choice. Also common for companionship are canines much like dogs, which are of animal intelligence but familiar with loyalty and unconditional love for another, which they like many other animals can develop.

In that specific relationship, an Emarion will provide food and shelter for the dog, and often leave the door to the house open while he’s home, giving his new friend the option of leaving at any time. Partly because the alternative is fending for itself in the city or wilderness and partly because it may particularly like its person, the dog will generally come and go as it pleases, but almost always return.

In Aeria and a few parts of Emaria there is also the practise of leaving windows open and having essentially aviaries in one’s home, feeding and housing birds on the long-term. Often this involves having an enclosed bird cage that is open on one side allowing free access in and out the window without having the entire house open as well. Then birdkeepers can just close the window after all of the birds have left for the moment and close the window, clean the cage, and reopen it when they’re done.

Other examples of friendships between humans and animals exist, of course, but in very nearly every case, there is no concept of ownership of either party on the other (excepting maybe cats, the bastards).

Emarion Marriage

Posted in Culture on September 16, 2008 by Eathanu

Most civilizations have at some point had a custom for the joining of two people in various regards. Marriage in Emaria, unlike some customs, has little legal hold on either party, however. Taxes are payed jointly by both, and that’s about the only bureaucratic ligature it has.

More important to people is the custom itself, and the ceremony that goes along with it. Ceremonies are usually small, with only immediate family and close friends attending, normally fewer than twenty people. The ceremony, which traditionally takes place outside, is often conducted by one of the parents, a priest, a town’s mayor, or in some very rare cases even a god.

The people attending all gather on a lush hill or whatever’s available. They sit either on the ground or on benches or other seats set up for some degree of comfort. Last to arrive is the couple getting married, who walk to the centre of the group. The others turn to greet them and give their full attention. One from the couple, usually the husband, relates the story of how they first met, and some stories about the times they spent together up to that point, usually leaving out the method and place he (or she, if the wife did) proposed the marriage. The other then speaks briefly about their plans for the future, where they plan to live, how many children, et cetera. In the case of same-sex couples the explanations can go either way.

The couple then speaks vows to each other to support each other, have no other romantic links and other such promises which, in older times before and shortly after the Dragonian War, the attending family and friends were actually expected to hold the couple to those vows. The couple then sits together in the middle of the group and everyone eats a large meal. As people finish eating, they give their best wishes to the new couple and leave the wedding. When everyone but the couple and the person conducting the ceremony have left, the conductor presents both of them with a piece of jewelry to signify their marriage, usually rings or amulets.

The jewelry is usually silver or gold with gems that either match the others’ eyes, or are the favourite gem of the wearer. Once they’ve donned the jewelry, the conductor leaves the ceremony as well, leaving the couple alone, who then sit together and just enjoy the company of the other for a while before leaving as well.