The Dressolini culture, though not quite as wellknown as the Ithanian culture, is similarly a superpower when it comes to the arts in the Regalian Empire. In particular, the Dressolini stand at the forefront of musical innovation, through inventions of new musical instruments and the famous Musica del Tessuto, an orchestra form that was perfected in the Montania region. The Dressolini culture is a relatively new one, developing around 180 AC due to migration of Daendroque Ailor to the Regalian Empire. Upon arriving, these immigrants immediately rejected their Daendroque heritage and adopted Alt-Regalian class norms, resulting in the rapid development of a new culture, which then diversified to become its own unique group today. The Dressolini currently live in a time they refer to as Bella Età, meaning “The Beautiful Age”, influenced by composers like Beneto Vescuzzio, Giovani dei Piagesco, Reinhardt Rübenbrecht and Zola dei Monteferachino. The Dressolini culture is revered worldwide not only for their orchestras, but also their special dance-like form of fencing known as Dressolini Fencing. These two are sought far and wide to entertain the nobility and the common masses with their unique qualities.
Language and Dialects
Dressolini language is called Dressalo, which is derived from Daendroque, and indirectly, from Elven. Although it shares many similarities with its ancestors, Dressolini maintains a more continental Regalian grammatical style. Most informal forms of addressing something or someone in Daendroque have disappeared in Dressoliniand have been replaced with adopted styles from the Alt-Regalian language. The most similar real-life language to Dressolini is Italian from around the region of Florence.
The Dressolini speak very quickly, but very eloquently. Their language is both melodic and rich in expressions that do not exist in other languages. This often means that native speakers of Dressolini have a hard time expressing certain feelings in Common. Dressolini often retain a strong Dressalo accent when speaking other languages, and are sometimes caught saying “como dire,” meaning “how to say,” when they fail to translate what they mean to say because other languages lack the extended vocabulary.
Dressolini names are often derived from Alt-Regalian or Ithanian, but are mutated to fit Dressalo. For example, the Ithanian “Francis” becomes “Franscesco,” the Alt-Regalian “Adam” becomes “Adamo,” the Ithanian “Auguste” becomes “Augustino,” etc. The naming customs of the Dressolini are very rich, and their surname often conveys where they come from; Dressolini names are often constructed as a first name, then by “dei,” meaning “of,” followed by the name of their birthplace. Example of names are as follows:
- Bernardetta dei Lampeport
- Ciro dei Orazino
- Conztanza dei Toreno
- Duilio dei Alania
- Emanuele dei Alania
- Ennio dei Trovista
- Floriano dei Lampeport
- Isodoro dei Fratecino
- Ludovica dei Spechia
- Manuel dei Potravacchio
Dressolini law strictly follows the Alt-Regalian law, with some modifications to give essential rights to female ruling parties. Dressolini law has known some exceptionally strange regional laws;it is one of the few cultures that maintains a regionally independent law system, that, while supported by the Regalian legislation, has a curious way of controlling the local population. Some strange examples of rules dictate that horses in certain villages may not be ridden if they have brown hair, and that daisies may not be plucked in another set of villages without first removing all uneven flower petals. Needless to say, Dressolini law is often unnecessarily complicated as perceived by other cultures, and the lack of a proper written set of coded laws makes enforcement of the law extremely difficult in the more rural areas.
Lifestyles and Customs
Dressolini family values are strongly influenced by old Ceardian beliefs of Gavelkind succession. Inheritance is shared among the sons of the father equally, though some minor favoritism may exist for the oldest son. Daughters are often used to secure political marriages, as the Dressolini tend to be very politically active throughout their lives. The Dressolini strongly follow courtship rules, and deny any romantic interactions or interests before marriage. As such, eloping couples is a major problem, especially in the Montania regions, where the youth are often agitated by the Scuola to abandon the older ideals of the past generations. Dressolini often use music in their romance to conquer the hearts of their loved ones, or their spouse to be. There are very few Dressolini who do not know how to play at least one instrument proficiently.
While Dressolini culture technically subscribes to the Alt-Regalian cultural norms of gender separation and the patriarchy, Dressolini actually know a very powerful exception to that rule: women in power. For the common Dressolini woman, life is invisible, often hidden behind a veil and inside the house, protected by father and brother from any encroaching would-be romantic intending to spirit them away. For noble Dressolini women, especially single mothers or unmarried women, the whole world is at their feet. There exists something of a cultural obsession with the idea of a politically powerful woman in the Dressolini culture, but it should not be mistaken for an Ithanian ideal. In fact, the Dressolini reject the notion of feminine superiority that is enforced by the Ithanians, calling it phoney and fake as it is enforced by some arbitrary ideology, not the actual merits of the individual.
Ironically enough, the Daendroque are often considered lazy by the Regalians due to their habit of taking breaks at work or having a holiday every other week, but on average, Dressolini actually have a lot more holidays than Daendroque do. The most frequent holidays Dressolini engage in are musical festivals where the whole town or village comes together to sing and play music together. Additionally, there are multiple Dressolini Fencing tournaments and flower festivals. Finally, there are multiple public holidays for the various Herons that were born in Montania and Vultaro, as well as various celebratory days for the Emperor. The Dressolini are the only culture that actually celebrate the day of the Emperor and the Crown Prince’s birth. The Dressolini also share a lot of regional customs and traditions with the Daendroque and the Alt-Regalians, though they are often updated to a more classy appeal according to the Dressolini’s tastes. Some of these include military re-enactments, midday twin rest hours for the Emperor, and the so called Caccia par la Volontà. The Caccia is a very elaborate hunt that often involves the entire town population, though mostly children. Unlike their Alt-Regalian cousins, who hunt foxes and deer in their forests, the Dressolini hide various personal objects like combs, mirrors, and bracelets in the forests or by the cliffs, challenging their families to find these objects and correctly identify whom they belong to.
The Dressolini, much like the Alt-Regalians, are devout Unionists. Unionism plays an integral role in the musical industry as they use the aural art as a touch of divinity, and as a showcase of their cultural and racial superiority. These ideals directly play into the Unionist belief set. For as devout as the Dressolini are to Unionism, there is a sizeable minority in Vultaro who are apart of a group of intellectuals known as the Scuola di Pensiero, who specifically aim to challenge the established order by means of excessive critical thinking. Still, in terms of Unionist practices, the Dressolini follow Unionism almost to the letter, and major religious centers exist within the Dressolini lands of Basta and Montania, Monasteries are very popular in Dressolini lands, and the men of cloth have good relations with the common people.
Literature and Folklore
Dressolini literature is surprisingly lacking. The Dressolini inherently believe in the concept of vocal knowledge preservation and passing, meaning even the Scuola with their radical or controversial ideas rejects the principle of printing their words to paper. This results in a very shut-in culture that does not spread its beliefs very far beyond its own cultural borders. The only real production of literature that can be found in Dressolini lands is the musical instrument manuals as well as theory books on military doctrines and tactics, with occasional biographies of major generals and artistic geniuses.
The Dressolini are the most politically active culture of the Regalian Empire, with the highest degree of citizen participation in city councils as well as active engagement with the regional councils and Aldermen. The Dressolini have engineered their own Gruppi di Interesse: unions of people with similar goals who present themselves as a certain public value or favor to the ruling classes with the aims of switching favors. Marrying plays a major role into this, as daughters are often used to secure political favors and deals with the ruling classes. Thus, it should come to no surprise that the Dressolini are also the most liable to political corruption. This is an often forgotten fact, as most Regalians tend to perceive the Dressolini cousins, the Daendroque, as the major criminal culture. The Dressolini also engage in a serious amount of political blackmail, bribery and even assassination.
Dressolini art is almost entirely based on sculpting in marble and stone raised to the divine. Famous sculptors like Ivo dei Palageisso and Manuel dei Triperte have gained much renown by sculpting the statues of the past Emperors on the Emperor’s Bridge, while more common sculptors are often asked to depict nobles in heroic scenes or as Herons of the Unionist faith. The sculpting industry is perhaps the most problematic sector of the Dressolini culture, as some of its glorification norms often contradict the austere ideals of the Unionist faith. The clergy denounce the nobility attempting to claim more honor and glory than is owed to them, but despite this opposition, the sculpting industry thrives.
The main cultural cornerstone of the Dressolini culture is their music. Many who witness the famous Alania orchestra performing Musica del Tessuto pieces will swear it is like touching the divinity of the Imperial Spirit itself. Even the clergy do not denounce such otherwise heretical claims;they testify to the unnatural beauty of the Dressolini school of Music and profess it as an example of Human supremacy. The Dressolini are the inventors of the violin, the piano, various horn instruments, and have pioneered the music written language of the tone ladder. Nowhere in the world do so many people of one society work in the musical industry, from crafting the musical instruments, to performing as with these instruments or as vocalists.
Not only do the Dressolini make the most divine music, their vocal academies know no equals; the Opera dei Monti singers are asked for all across the Archipelago. Famous singers like Fiola dei Ultimogerio Apiezzo became almost world renown for their ability to sing with brilliance, clarity, and superior tone control. Some opera singers are even rumored to be able to shatter glass purely by the tone and strength of their voice alone. Children in Dressolini culture are taught to play an instrument from an early age, sometimes as early as seven, even before a Dressolini fencer is hired to teach them fencing later. In primary education, all schools feature a massive choir which all students are a member of. Throughout any day in Montania, one can hear several different pieces of music being played somewhere, be it within the monastic order chanting high in the mountains, or the Violin teaching their students how to perform with the more intricate string instruments.
Dressolini fashion is perhaps one of the only aspects of the Dressolini culture that cannot be considered its own. The Dressolini import clothing en masse from Ithania and Calemberg, particularly clothing with pelts and furs. While their style is broad-ranging, they often stick to a similar color palette; either greens, yellows, whites, and various blends in between. Most Dressolini dress to impress, and are very fond of looking clean and neat, ensuring their clothing have no folds or making sure their eyebrows are uniform. In fact, most of the facial hair trends around Regalia can be traced to Montania, most notably the moustache fashion, as well as some of the finest hair dyes. Dressolini of both genders finally wear long, curled, or wavey hair. Shoulder length hair is very common for upper-class men, while lower-class men tend to tie their hair into a ponytail, and often leave it straightened as they cannot afford to have it curled manually.
Dressolini architecture is deceptively simple and functional, but very colorful. Dressolini adorn their houses with vines and flowers in as many vibrant colors as possible. In fact, many small Dressolini villages have annual flower contests, where competitors are judged on the amount and natural beauty of their flowers. The Dressolini also pioneered the production of arboretums and glass solariums for houses, as well as industries where flowers are bred. Glass is frequently used in such structures, but oddly enough, Dressolini housing and even noble estates feature very little actual windows. Most window frames are shut with wooden panel boards, though these are often richly decorated with fine goldleaf paint. Dressolini temples to Unionism are known to be the most austere and simple worship houses in the Unionist faith. Despite the excellent relation between the Dressolini and the clergy, temples and chapels in Montania and Vultaro are rarely manned by curates of the Sancella of Union. They are simple and resemble very solemn houses of prayer surrounded by fields of flowers. The Dressolini have also pioneered the construction of so called Palazzos: square noble estates which are often suspended on pillars and feature a raised or internal garden. Some more daring estates even feature roof gardens, a feat of excellent gardening and landscape engineering.
Dressolini cuisine strongly borrows its base from the Daendroque cuisine, but is more-so focussed on fish and shell animals, with heavy use of spices. The Dressolini are the largest consumers of spices in the Regalian Empire and the vast majority of the spice trade flows through major trade centers like Lampeport and Alania. Montania is full of rich plantations and fields of herbs, particularly around the monastic lands where monks tend to the fields, especially the Dogartan monks who believe physical labor brings them closer to the paradise of Humanum. Fish caught in the Montania region is often sold at the largest fish market in Regalia, which is deceptively named Porto di Vino.
Dressolini are strongly known outside of Montania for Dressolini Fencing, a martial sport that combines agility, reflexes, and poise to define a fighting style that resembles dancing more than actual combat. Dressolini fencers are much desired as foreign mentors for the upper classes around Anglia, Dragenthal, and Calemberg. Dressolini are also often avid swimmers or divers. The cliff regions around Montania are perfect for practicing styled diving where the Dressolini invent new ways to make a show out of a simple jump. Additionally, there are various tournaments held every year for eager swimmers to beat the strong currents of the Ponto river that runs through Montania. Another major leisure that the Dressolini engage in is military theory. Dressolini are technically infamous for not contributing much to the Regalian Army due to various exception rules and tax breaks. Instead, the Dressolini contribute some of the best tactical and strategic schools when it comes to military theory and regiment positioning. Dressolini often engage in battle re-enactments and have various board games that feature complete battle emulations with advanced tactical maneuvering.
The Dressolini are most strongly identified with the symbol of a golden harp and man carrying a lute to the sky. These two symbols often feature on Dressolini coats of arms, though other musical instruments are often spotted as well. Another major symbol that represents Dressolini culture, especially in paintings, are the rocky cliffs around Lampeport and Alania. Men in Regalia often distinguish themselves from Alt-Regalians from Calemberg by wearing a large swan feather on their shoulder or on a hat, identifying the more gentle touch of the Dressolini while emulating the strength of the Alt-Regalian culture.
- The Dressolini have recently suffered a major population decline due to the overwhelming amount of support the Anahera Protectorate received from the Vultarin Heretics. Many were executed due to their heretical ways. Yet, these population declines mostly represented the rural population of Vultaro alone; Montania has grown in population and wealth during this period, as they supported the loyalists and the Emperor’s cause. .
- The Dressolini strongly reject the Daendroque culture with an almost resentful hate. This is largely because the Dressolini inherently fear being associated with their old barbaric and uncivilized colonial roots, as nearly all major Dressolini families descend from refugees fleeing the warlord era of Daendroc.
- Dressolini, as a name, actually derives from an old Alt-Regalian insult against Daendroque who try to dress properly and act like one of them. The term has long since gone out of proper use, but it eventually became the popular way to identify the Dressolini people.