This article details the society, culture, and known customs of the Kingdom of Castilland. For Escadosi culture, see Escados.
Social classes Edit
Castilland is a feudalistic absolute monarchy, with heavy emphasis on caste and social status. At the very top is the high nobility, ranked further by pureness of blood and lineage. This includes the immediate royal family as well as the first tier of extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, et cetera). Beneath them is low nobility, which extends from royal family cousins and partial relations, to lords, knights, and others with their own land.
Next is the middle class, made of merchants, traders, and guild members. These are typically the self-made businessmen of the country, as they can be fairly wealthy but have no noble ties. Beneath them are the lower class, made of peasants and otherwise poor men without any ties to land or wealth.
The peerage of Castilland is ranked as follows: king, the sovereign ruler; prince, the king's son; duke, the king's brother; marchlord, feudal ruler of an area of land called a march; lord, nobleman without feudal lands; and knight, an honoured soldier recognised by the king and often given non-feudal lands.
Gender and sexuality Edit
Castilland is a patriarchal society, in which the males inherit their father's lands and titles. While the leaders of the kingdom are predominantly male, there are exceptions to the rule, as in when the inheritor of the seat of power is below the age of majority, or where there are no male heirs to take their forefather's place.
Sexuality in Castilland is reserved for one male and one female; all else is seen as an bastardisation of the laws of the world and the gods. They are a mostly conservative society, with the exception of brothels, which are seen as taboo but still legal. Castilmen are expected to remain celibate until marriage, and finding evidence of deflowering without the other's knowledge is an offence that can result in the union being annulled (see below).
Homosexuality is both frowned upon and illegal, but it is rarely an offense people are arrested for. Most homosexuals are "an open secret." Still, any deviation from the norm is seen as disgusting, and fornication with a member of the same sex is considered on par to that of fornication with animals or the dead.
Naming conventions Edit
Family names are typically derived from a house's occupation or the landscape around them. Wives may take the family name of their husbands upon marriage, but in some cases, especially if her house is at an equal or higher standing than her husband's, she will choose to keep her own. Regardless, children always inherit the surname of their father's family.
Those born in lower standing often do not have family names, but will instead use the name of their city or village.
Adric, Adryan, Aisac, Antony, Arrick, Arthard, Artheon, Arton, Basel, Cassen, Dane, Danyel, Darran, Donnel, Edric, Eduard, Edwen, Euwen, Gabryel, Galther, Garric, Garth, Gavren, Geoffwin, Geran, Gregray, Hendry, Henrard, Henrid, Hitch, Holt, Illiam, Isan, Jarid, Jon, Jonathas, Josephan, Lennard, Loren, Lysander, Markas, Merick, Mickard, Payter, Phileon, Phirmon, Rayward, Richeon, Robbyn, Rodgard, Rogeran, Ronneld, Rychard, Sedrik, Stefend, Symon, Theo, Timman, Timott, Timothen, Tommard, Tomnas, Victar
Allis, Ann, Beatryn, Caery, Cassila, Catholyn, Charilyn, Daina, Donawen, Eleandra, Elisanne, Gwenda, Gwendalen, Joane, Josilyn, Lisandra, Lora, Margrette, Maris, Marywen, Merrilyn, Opheliandra, Penelyn, Rowena, Sara, Saryn, Seyra, Syrella, Tanasin, Tarasyn, Tirany, Tirysa, Wenda, Wendolyn, Wylla
Berrywine, Blackvine, Blackwood, Bluewater, Cinders, Cresterly, Cresting, Dagend, Dogwood, Draper, Dryke, Dunning, Fairmotte, Fletcher, Freyan, Gildwater, Godwin, Grayling, Harcourt, Hollyhock, Karing, Keeley, Kimber, Kindling, Lamsley, Littler, Mericort, Murrey, Osbern, Pickering, Pike, Ramsley, Seawell, Shepping, Shepwick, Slaker, Stagwell, Stillwater, Stoking, Stonewell, Sweetling, Thatching, Thornback, Touching, Westerly
The primary language spoken in Castilland is Castilic. It differs significantly from Old Castilic, the language first spoken by the Castil tribes of northern Galais, and much of the original language has been lost to time.
There are several dialects of Castilic. Most notably is the dialect spoken in the Ivory Isle, as their distinct separation from the mainland has resulted in heavy influence from multiple Sereosi cultures, as well as that of their neighbours the Galais, whose language Galasian shares its roots with Old Castilic.
Another distinct dialect is that spoken in northwestern Sutherlands, which uses many borrowed terms from Escadosi.
Age of majority Edit
Coming of age is an important factor of Castillan society. Boys become men at the age of thirteen, which is when they are expected to aid in the labour of the home and provide for the family. The lower classes typically celebrate this in a festival held once a year called the Hunt, where the thirteen year-olds of the village are expected to track down and kill a boar, which upon the entire village feasts, symbolising that the young men are able to care for their families. The nobility celebrates this more loosely, with the boy going for a hunt with his father and other male relatives in the morning, and in the evening a large boar feast is served to hundreds of guests in celebration.
For girls, coming of age is a bit more loose in the sense that they become women as soon as their first blood. This symbolises that she is ready to marry and bear children, and her family immediately begins making preparations by throwing the Festival of First Blood. Similar to the Hunt, this is celebrated by entire villages in lower society, but individually by the nobility. The celebrations typically consist of hanging the bloodied sheets for all to see, as well as a large feast and dance, during which the eligible men make arrangements with the maiden's family to call upon her. The nobility can sometimes marry off their daughters within a fortnight, whereas the lower classes are generally less urgent, as it can take some time to prepare a dowry.
Marriage and annulment Edit
In its basest form, Castillan marriage is largely a contract between one man and one woman, to secure each a sum of land and children. Marriages are rarely a bond formed out of love, and are most often political, sometimes to increase one's social status by marrying into a higher caste.
In royal marriages, brides usually take the family name of their husbands, though she may choose to keep her own name if her own house is of a higher standing. Children, regardless of sex, always inherit the family name of their father.
In order to secure a marriage, both the bride and groom must agree to the partnership, and the bride must pay a dowry. A forced marriage may take place with approval of both the bride's and groom's family, but this is typically only done when either partner's refusal is seen as detrimental to the well-being of the family, especially with that of the firstborn son.
All lowborn marriages must be seen and approved of by the lord of the march. An outdated, but still legal, practise is "lord's right", in which the marchlord may choose to take the bride's maidenhood on her wedding night, but this is frowned upon by most Castilmen and is seen as a primitive practise.
The idea of what constitutes a marriage is fairly loose, but it is required that the Honoured Vows are spoken in front of the families of both bride and groom. In the absence of family, some may choose to say their vows in front of their village or domus (see below). The Honoured Vows are as follows:
In the eyes of my gods and my kingdom, I vow myself to you
I offer my hearth, so that you might find shelter
I offer my table, to keep you from hunger
I offer my sword, so that I may protect you
From this breath until my last
In the eyes of my gods and my kingdom, I vow myself to you
I offer my purse, so that you never be in want
I offer my arms, to cherish and comfort you
I offer my womb, to bear you many children
From this breath until my lastThough the words must be spoken with witnesses in order to be deemed a true marriage, it is still able to be annulled if it is unconsummated. Typically, a child is expected to be born within the first year of marriage, and it is not unheard of that a groom might annul his marriage if he suspects his wife to be unable to bear children.
Marriages may be annulled by breaking any of the Honoured Vows, which include: if the groom is deemed unfit to protect his wife, if the bride is incapable of bearing children, or if the bride cannot provide a dowry. All annulments must be sworn by two people who were present during the wedding, or, if no one there is left alive, then by the lord of the march.
Twelve Geneans Edit
The primary religion of Castilland is Domusism, also called the Twelve Geneans (or Ten Geneans, in the Galasian sect). It was spread from the nearby country of Galais, where it originated.
Domusism has twelve gods, each of which is said to live in the mythical Garden of Genea, a paradise where all trees bear fruit and wellsprings flow with wine. The gods are as follows: Heredas, Myrea (Myrecia), Cassius (Calatia), Theryo, Carthena, Nymea, Thesius, Ordonius, Valerius, Galena (Myrecia), Othelia (Calatia), and Pheleo.
Gods and goddesses Edit
Heredas, also called the Father, is the god of strength and honour. He is depicted as a mighty, bearded man with a crown and is often referred to as the king of the gods. He is the husband of Myrea, and the patron of fathers.
Myrea, often called the Mother, is the goddess of mercy. She is almost always depicted as weeping, as her heart overflows with love for all men. She is sister to Galena, and the patron of mothers. In the Galais sect of Domusism, Myrea and Galena are the same goddess, known as Myrecia.
Cassius, or the Youth, is the god of love and beauty. He is depicted as a young, effeminate male who wears a crown of roses. It is said that young people in love have been "kissed by Cassius". He is the patron of young boys. In the Galais sect of Domusism, Cassius and Othelia are the same god, a hermaphrodite called Calatia.
Theryo, also known as the Messenger, is the god of speed and perseverance. He is depicted as a young male carrying or reading a scroll, and many times is accompanied by his horse Phalien, a pale blue stallion that rides the wind.
Carthena is the goddess of truth and justice. She is often shown holding a set of scales and bears a stern look, and appears in most courts to watch over all trials and deliver a fair verdict.
Nymea is the goddess of death and decay. She is depicted as a hooded figure, often with rotting limbs, and if her face is shown her eyes are always hollow or gouged out. Insects and other scavengers are thought of as being dark omens, as they are associated with Nymea.
Thesius is the god of harvest. He is represented by a wise old man carrying a sheaf of wheat over his back. He is the patron of farmers.
Ordonius is the god of order and wisdom. He is the husband of Carthena and is depicted as an old man sitting in thought, sometimes reading a scroll. He is the patron of scholars.
Valerius is the god of war and chaos. He is dressed in full armour and wields a greatsword, often depicted in battle with or carrying the head of his brother, Ordonius. He is the lover of Nymea, and the patron of soldiers.
Galena, also called the Nurse, is the goddess of fertility, and the sister of Myrea. She is a voluptuous woman often shown with her breasts on display, sometimes nursing children. Occasionally she is depicted as a honey-coloured cow.
Othelia, or the Maid, is the goddess of spring and youth. She is the daughter of Thesius, and is shown as a naked youth in a meadow, oftentimes leaping away from Cassius who is in a constant battle for her affections. She is also represented by a spotted fawn, and is the patron of young girls.
Pheleo is the god of health and medicine. He is represented by a man studying vials or herbs, sometimes holding a skull, and is the husband of Nymea. He is often depicted as trying to fruitlessly revive his wife from the dead. He has a darker side as well, one that paints him as a madman playing with the lives of men.
Rituals and rites Edit
Followers of the Twelve build temples of worship, called domuses (singular: domus), where they leave offerings and observe religious holidays. Each major city has its own domus at their centre, which is maintained by monks called doma. The doma spend their lives studying the gods in hopes of understanding them, and are in charge of writing and maintaining the Tenets, which are a series of twelve books dedicated to each of the gods and their respective dogma. Doma are expected to be celibate in order to dedicate their lives to the gods, but it is not required.
Domusists do not pray, as they do not believe man can directly contact the gods, and that they can only be understood through observing. However, they often build shrines devoted to one god, typically their patron god, to give regular offerings in their homes or other places of congregation.
Domusists believe that the world began with the Garden of Genea, which birthed a fig tree. The fig tree bore twelve fruits (ten in the Galais sect), each of which was the womb of each of the twelve gods. Together, they all maintained the garden, until it flowered and bloomed with the fruit that would become man. Eventually there were so many children in the garden that the gods created the world in which to put them. This world was called Mundas, and its five continents Aureos, Perleos, Sereos, Calesia, and Essia.
According to the Tenets, when men die their bodies feed the earth, and they are reborn in the fruit in the Garden of Genea, the home of the gods, which they will tend to and grow in peace for eternity. Though the Geneans have no hell, they believe that evil is reborn into rotting fruit, which bears no child, and is cut out by the goddess Nymea and used to fertilise the rest of the garden.
Castilmen bury their dead, regardless of caste. They believe that their bodies must return to the earth in order to be reborn into the afterlife, so desecration of a body by burning or otherwise preventing natural decay is a heinous crime not only in the mortal realm, but of their very soul. This contrasts with the Escadosi, who regularly burn their dead as to return to the sky, their own vision of the afterlife. In the Castil-Thescan wars, generals would remind their troops that if the Thescans killed them, their bodies would be burnt, to have them fight more fiercely.
Funerals are typically held as celebrations to bid the deceased's soul farewell before they are buried. They are a time of remembrance and reflection upon one's own life, and generally consist of a great feast which the friends and family dine on together.