The Anglian Culture, often referred to as Alt-Anglian, is one of Regalia’s older cultures, dating back to the formation of the early Empire. Much like Alt-Regalian, it forms the cultural roots of the Empire, though its actual impact on the Empire as a whole was regional and minimal. In contrast to Alt-Regalian - which was adopted by the ruling elite - Alt-Anglian remained very isolated in the countryside among the peasantry. The Anglian culture even today remains focussed on the Anglian countryside, with some cultural exchange with Dragenthal. The closest cultural relative of Anglian is Ceardian, where Anglian formed out of Ceardian in the decades before the Cataclysm.
- 1 Language and Dialects
- 2 Laws
- 3 Lifestyle and Customs
- 4 Holidays
- 5 Religion
- 6 Literature and Folklore
- 7 The Arts
- 8 Recreation
- 9 Symbols
- 10 Trivia
Language and Dialects
Alt-Anglian as a language is old compared to the other more evolving languages such as Common and Common Elven. It dates back to a time when the Regalian Language shift occurred and Alt-Regalian evolved out of Old Ceardian, while the Anglian counterpart remained rooted in the old grammatical constructions and words. Over time, the dialect itself developed a more flat and “peasant-ly” tone in that the formal speech rules fell away. Alt-Anglian has a real life equivalent in a “Dutch sounding” language, mostly related to 17th century Dutch. The language is almost exclusively spoken in the Anglian lands to the northwest of the Regalian capital, though small pockets of native speakers exist in Dragenthal as well. The language has not spread very far beyond the archipelago, as Anglians barely engage in colonization. The closest existing relatives of the Alt-Anglian language are Alt-Regalian and Middle Ceardian, though the latter is effectively extinct. Alt-Anglians can understand Alt-Regalian speakers, but their language is not intelligible to Alt-Regalian because their dialect is so heavy that it just sounds like gibberish to them.
Anglians have very simple naming customs; in fact, most names are very similar and many families share the same surname even though they have no actual relation to one another. In fact, surnames are often declared by their occupation or by what town they come from, so many surnames are often “of Axford” or “Smithersae”. Male names often end in “aed” “ric” or “ulf” while female names end in “gifu”, “wig”, “mna” “lora”. Some examples below:
Anglian law has been strongly influenced by Regalian law, but is slightly different in a few aspects. Regalian law is based on the idea that the perpetrator must be punished, where Anglian law aims to compensate the victim more than punish the perpetrator. Anglian law also does not abide by the Regalian Law structure of the judges, rather, the law giving sector in Anglia is the council of Aldermen: town elders who gather to form a tribunal when presiding over a law case. Because of the Anglian inclination towards loyalty, adultery is a huge crime to those living in the Kade lands, even contradicting the general “compensate first” ethic. In some cases, adultery can even lead to death, which is virtually unique in the Ailor cultures. Crime levels in Anglia are relatively low due to a combination of comfortable living and stable political rule. The majority of the law disputes are based on land property rights.
Lifestyle and Customs
Anglians still follow the old code of conduct when it comes to family planning. Most families in Anglia are agriculturally-inclined families that focus their family planning around their farming lives. Marriages between children are often arranged between farmers who live close to one another, so they may swap pieces of land or form a communal farming community. Daughters are often sold with a dowry of cattle. The woman often has no choice in who she wishes to marry, while the man has a small amount of voice in the matter. Romance between young couples exists before marriage, which is permitted as long as the woman doesn’t becomes pregnant. A pregnancy is an immediate cause to get married, or the couple risk being social outcasts. This is a frequent tactic used by young couples who are in love to force their parents’ hands to let them marry, even if they intended a different spouse for their child. Anglian households tend to be very large compared to other cultures. It is not out of the ordinary to see a married couple have up to seven or even ten children. Children are seen as a means to add extra production on the farm, as farms are inherited from fathers to sons, while daughters help expand the farm through marriages and help keep the household. Anglians are generally very monogamous due to their cultural inclination to loyalty.
In line with the general Regalian customs, Anglian culture is strongly influenced by patriarchal values that bleed into their gender roles. Women are the caretakers of the children— the weavers and the cooks—while the men work the fields and wage war. Men control all political positions, while women have effectively no say in how the household or the various government institutions are run. In Anglian law, it is illegal for women to serve in the military. Violations of the gender role culture in Anglia is often responded to with exclusion or even banishment from the family. Inheritance of the families is always dictated by primogeniture; only men can inherit, and the oldest inherits everything. The Anglian people almost exclusively follow the political structure stipulated in the Kade Compendium, a book on how to run an effective family unit that is freely given out to the people by the ruling classes.
April the 16th is national Dragon Festival Day in the Anglian culture where Anglians bring offerings to the Feathered Dragon and the ruling families of the land. Anglians living outside of Anglia itself often use this day as an excuse to get drunk in the pub and then bring some form of offerings to the Emperor; after which they proceed to start fights together in North Boxing clubs. September 29th is Haeksendag, a day where children dress up as witches and play around with sheep bones attempting to scare adults, especially the elderly. Families often make Haeksenpoppe during this period, dolls which are meant to look like witches to hang on the wall in their homes. These dolls are believed to indicate a house is welcoming of witches and their blessings against the evil spirits. Finally, December 5th is Holy Nichols Day, a day where the Anglians celebrate the life of Heron Nichols of the miners, who once saved eighty miners from a collapsed tunnel. During this time, Anglians cover their faces in charcoal soot and engage in communal singing with a candle each to provide the light and the way for the lost souls of the miners in their rural communities.
Religious Anglian culture is a mixture of Old Gods and Unionism. Much like Calemberg, the capital of the Anglian lands, Axford, is a bastion of the Unionist faith, though the outlying lands and shepherd villages still maintain some Old Gods practices. The Old Gods faith had a major impact on Anglian folklore and tradition;even though some practices should be banned by the Sancella of Union, they are still maintained. Several Herons and important figures in Etosian Unionism have come from the Anglian culture, such as Heron Eolemna and Saint Volodomyr.
Literature and Folklore
Anglians are infamous for their Zondespael and Frondespael literature. Zondespael is a form of literature where the author makes a public dissent of something, like a flower or a horse, but to an extreme manner. The author will attempt to convince the world of how utterly terrible this otherwise seemingly insignificant object or animal is. The only true rule of Zondespael is that it must never cover people or institutions. Frondespael is a bit more unconventional than Zondespael however and often banned in many other lands. Frondespael is racy literature that often involves vulgar or eroticized scenarios described in metaphorical detail. For an otherwise austere people, these forms of literature are often seen as a means to offload the pressure of cordial living. Most Anglian families have at least one book of either style in their household, and some famous writers from Anglia have made a name in Regalia selling these styles as either comedic expression or an alternative to courtesanship.
Anglia has a very strong relation with the Regalian Empire, and maintains a prominent Feudal identity. The lands have been ruled by the same Kade family for the past three centuries who control everything from the lowest production chain to the highest political offices. The passage of the Emperorship from the Ivrae family to the Alltmeister family also provided an extra boon to Imperial loyalty, due to the fact that the Emperor is now “one of the Anglians”. It can often be said that the Anglians are on the forefront of loyalty to the Feudal system and the Emperor, and are understood as a land that will always support the Emperor’s cause. This was seen in the fact that the Anglians were the first to rebel against the Usurper Andrieu Anahera during the dictatorship of the Protectorate. Anglians also make up the vast majority of both the Imperial Guard and the Imperial Tenpenny Army.
Anglians have a rich folklore that stems back to the days of the Old Gods religion. One major aspect of the Old Gods faith that has remained is the principle of Haeksen, or witches, though the custom is fundamentally different from the Alt-Regalian belief in witches. In contrast, Anglian witches are considered good beings that scare away evil spirits and demons with their magical hexes. They are often said to live in the swampy areas bordering the Hinterlands to the south and collect lamb bones and skulls to perform defensive rituals. It is indeed true that some ritualist communities still exist deep in the border swamps where Unionist missionaries have not yet ventured. Another common Anglian tradition are pyres and summer burnings to ward off bad luck for the harvest and the new year.
Anglian artists are counted among the artistic conservatives of the Ailor cultures, although they do appreciate modern art styles like impressionism. Anglians prize paintings of agricultural landscapes and coastal picturesque towns. Imagery of people is almost strictly forbidden, though it is not entirely clear why this is. This unspoken ban also extends to statues, though exceptions are usually made for the ruling families of the land and Emperors. Anglians are very avid performers; many Regalian stage writers and actors come from Anglia. Stage performances are often held in the open air in a village square or town theater. These so-called Tenpenny performances are particularly popular among the common folk of Regalia and the poor district inhabitants due to their low cost and general comedic value.
Anglian music is often based on lutes, flutes, and simple drums. The melodies are always upbeat and incite dancing, though vocals are a rarity. Another popular form of music production is the so called Vermaekspael. Vermaekspael can generally be referred to as bardic singing, but unlike bards from other lands, Anglian bards specialize in the art of ridicule rhyme. Their bardic songs often produce contrived and metaphorical insults against individuals, aimed at making the public laugh. These Vermaekspael are often taken in good sport by everyone, because the idea is that anyone can pick up a lute, play a basic tune and string a few sentences of insults together with some rhyme to retaliate and call it settled. A more private means of producing music for Anglians is the sideways flute. Anglian plays often feature beautiful melodic long flute compositions, and these can in fact be the only truly emotional pieces of music audible from the Anglian culture, filled with sadness and longing. This often strongly contrasts with the general happy and comedic overtone of all other musical productions.
Anglians dress like the produce of the land. There is no real upper class Anglian fashion; this is all imported from Calemberg, though the Anglian nobility often try to appear down to earth, and will dress based on local customs unless a foreign dignitary is visiting. All Anglian clothing is either made from hemp weaving or sheep wool, with the occasional outfit sporting cowhide here and there. Anglian clothing is often very conservative and closed. Women cover themselves up in dresses, and many of them even wear peasant veils. Men wear woven trousers, and woven shirts with a sheep hide vest over that. Headwear is also very popular among the Anglians, though it is often restricted to simple hoods, sacks and caps. Anglian fashion remains true to its peasant roots and has remained practically unchanged for the past three centuries.
Anglians are often pitied by their Regalian cultural counterparts as they almost exclusively live in plaster houses with thatch roofs. In spite of this, Anglia isn’t without its unique architecture. The Anglian abbeys and monasteries are famous for their flat roofs with spiked ornaments and imposing stone structures. Many archways in Anglian architecture use little to no mortar, raising the art of counter-balance to a true skill. Only important buildings in the Anglian lands are actually made of stone; most buildings make do with wooden timber frames and compressed mud, with a layer of plaster over it. House fires are very frequent in Anglia, which often decimate large numbers of houses. Still, Anglians hold on to a sense of history with their architectural style, as it has been unchanged since the early days of the Empire. Anglian castles are often considered the most boring but the heaviest and most fortified structures in the Regalian Archipelago. They are often large, thick-walled, and feature few windows or luxuries.
Anglian Cuisine is extremely simple, and in other parts of the realm, it is referred to as pauper cuisine. The Anglian staple food is grain, and it is used in practically every dish. Bread is the breakfast and lunch, and porridge may often be dinner. Roast beefs and lambs in bread baskets are very common due to the cattle industry in Anglia. Anglians don’t really have much in the ways of sweets, though blueberry and strawberry pies are very popular due to the exquisite flavor of their fruits. Apricot and apple jam are also extremely popular as export products; Anglians make ample use of the favorable orchard climate around Axford to produce delicious jams.
Like most things in their culture, Anglian sports are often very simple. The most popular pastime sport Anglians engage in is Ballespeylen. In this game, competitors attempt to throw an iron cast ball into a pole marked with various colored segments to indicate points. Every person gets ten throws, and the person with the most amount of points wins.
Another popular pastime leisure is North Boxing, a Regalian variant of Northern Mud Wrestling. Anglian leisure and sports are often very physically intensive activities that engage in heavy competition. Fist fights are extremely common during competitions, and this generally rowdy sports culture combined with the heavy labor of the land often makes Anglians very burly individuals.
The main symbol of Anglia is the Feathered Dragon; also the sigil animal of the ruling Kade family. These creatures used to live in the border mountain chains of Dorinn and Nordwalle, terrorizing the farmers living in the river delta valleys below. The Dragon has gone extinct since the early decades after Cataclysm, but the animal represents Anglia strongly in its unwavering vigilance and loyalty to its roost. Another strong symbol for Anglia is the wheat and rye plants; food produce is the major export of Anglia and, as such, the majority of the population works in the agricultural sector. Lambs are often also frequent to symbolize Anglians, as are the three wingless Feathered Dragons in a circle, which represents the Three Son Ideology. This ideology dictates that the oldest son must always inherit all, while the next two sons are bred to support the oldest son.
Despite being austere, simple, and even cordial people internally, Anglians are considered greedy and shut in by outsiders, even within the Regalian Archipelago. They often artificially change bread prices to their suiting, even if it causes a famine elsewhere. Becoming overweight is a major issue in some of the Anglian cities. Anglians are often fed so well with large quantities of food that weight becomes a major problem. Anglians are homogenous with the Alt-Regalians. Nearly the entire population has black hair and blue eyes, with some exceptions towards the Dorinn lands, where brown hair and hazel eyes is more common.