Aloria has many rituals of binding partners. Some are drawn-out, formal affairs, while others are short and simple. Almost all are also bound to the various Religions of Aloria, and most can be done within the presence of holy figures who seal the bond with the blessings of a god or many gods. Because of this, some forms of marriage are not accepted in various nations, and are seen as invalid or in conflict with the system of beliefs central to the functioning of the state. The most powerful state that sees hundreds if not thousands of marriages every day is the Regalian Empire. Below can be found a list of the different forms of marriage in the various Religions of Aloria, as well as the specific traditions of several Races who fall outside of the wide net cast by the different faiths,
- Note: For information or ideas on any of the ceremonies listed here, please send in a MassiveCraft RP Discord Ticket asking your questions! The staff will be happy to help you with anything you’re interested in.
- Origins: The origins of the Unionist wedding ritual, called the Sanktism of Harmony, are laid out in the Creed, and are one of the few uncontested parts of Unionist doctrine over the centuries. The first Unionist wedding of any note was the ceremony between Theomar's second son and his bride, in approximately 20 AC, soon after the Creed was produced. While each Unionist group who has broken away from the central faith has their own version of the ceremony, with different words and added parts, they all still follow the same core structure.
- Service Requirements: Various Unionist Cultures have a range of requirements for the ceremony. Often, the acceptance by the parents or guardians of both parties are all that is required, while sometimes it is only the acceptance of the bride's parents or guardians. Additionally, a priest from the faith is also often required, but some fringe sects now reincorporated with the central faith do not require it.
- Traditional Attire: While there is no set dress code for the Sanktism of Harmony, it is traditional for the couple and guests to wear their best clothing, with white being the popular choice as it symbolizes purity. Regardless of choice, the groom must always wear a yellow sash, while the bride must wear a purple sash. In the case of same-sex relations, the older person wears the yellow sash, while the younger wears the purple. These sashes are often provided by a priest, though some couples wear a family sash that is passed down through the generations.
- Traditional Rituals:
- The couple both approach the Unionist priest who is standing by a shrine dedicated to the relevant deity of love.
- The priest recites a prayer to said deity, asking for them to bless the couple with devotion to one another. This often sees the goddess Elia invoked, and asks that both parties love each other as she did to her husband, former Emperor and now god, Allest.
- The couple take turns reciting the Eids, or vows to one another. This part of the ritual is the most unique, as the priest does not prepare anything for it. Rather, the couple are expected to personalize their Eids, which can be as simple as a declaration of love and future happiness, to a duet sung to those present.
- After the Eids are completed, the couple exchanges a small gift between one another, to symbolize the sharing of personal property. For the nobility and wealthy, this tends to involve the exchanging of wedding rings, while it is not unheard of for poor commoners to exchange two halves of a bread roll between each other. There is no specific gift that must be exchanged, and some couples are known to personalize their presents to one another.
- After the exchange of gifts, the priest recites a final prayer to the Everwatcher, proclaiming that the couple has joined together in harmony, and calling upon the supreme being to watch over their marriage for the rest of their lives.
- At this point, the Sanktism is completed, and any celebrations are entirely upon the shoulders of the married couple, or their respective families.
- Other Notes: The expansion of the respective pantheons of each major sect has created odd instances where cultural or personal opinions clash with the gods invoked during the wedding ceremony. Additionally, the secular nature of what the Regalian Empire considers marriage often results in Unionist couples signing paperwork proclaiming their union days to weeks prior to any religious-based ceremony.
- Origins: The wedding ceremony of the Fornoss faith originated with the bonding of the gods Njal and Bard, whose love literally sparked the god of love, Leif, into being. It is said that within a year, and the creation of all the gods, the two were wed in the first ceremony beneath Arne. An ancient site on Oldtera was said to be the place of this union, but it is now lost due to the fall of that continent.
- Service Requirements: Fornoss has the freest service requirements of almost any Religion in Aloria. No priest is required, and such ceremonies can in fact be performed just by the partners involved alone, in any location. The sole requirement in such circumstances is that it must be done before an open flame, a Fire of Leif, so that he is a witness to the union. Despite this freedom, many ceremonies are officiated by local religious figures or family leaders anyway.
- Traditional Attire: Fornoss has spread through a range of climates and environments in its long presence in Aloria. As a result, few clothing requirements have survived the ages. Still, wearing all black or all white is common, as is the inclusion of family heirlooms, veils, circlets, helms and more, often decades if not centuries old.
- Traditional Rituals: Due to the range of peoples and regions that practice the Fornoss faith, traditional rituals have become as diverse as clothing and requirements for a service. However, the Act of Worth and singing of the Vidtide are still retained. There are any number of Acts, from splitting lumber, to shooting arrows, to musical composition, all to prove that the male, masculine, or “major” partner can provide for their loved one. The Vidtide meanwhile is an ancient song said to be composed by Njal himself, extolling the connection of two souls in love. Many regional variations exist to suit the different climates Fornoss finds itself practiced in. It is traditionally sung by the female, feminine, or “minor” partner, but can also be performed by musicians hired for the purpose.
- Other Notes: Despite the origin of the ceremony apparently being with the gods, only Bard and Njal are said to be formally wed. The other godly romantic pairings are distinctly unwed in the stories.
- Origins: Weddings of the Estelley tradition have an unclear origin, as there is no myth of the “first wedding” and it would appear that the practice did not start for at least the first few millennia of the Allorn Empire. Instead, most records suggest it began with efforts by an Empress to awe and intimidate her court through a fabulous ritual, with others emulating her as it grew into a status symbol which at the height of the Allorn Empire, could last for days on end.
- Service Requirements: Estelley as a faith has fragmented into a range of subgroups and racial divisions, but still holds some key features. For one, an Ordvaan, the term for an Estelley priest, must officiate the ceremony. They may follow any particular god, but in cases where one is not available (a growing issue in some parts of Aloria), written notice proclaiming the union and majesty of the event sent to the nearest one is a substitute. Additionally, the ceremony must be performed before an Altar of Desire, easily set up with a rich red tablecloth, candles, roses and a carved armband holder in the shape of two sleek serpents.
- Traditional Attire: The Estelley faith has long been exacting in the clothing worn for a wedding, this feature of the ceremony going unchanged. Both halves of the ceremony must wear white, with the party from the most southern location lacing the outfit with pale blue as an accent color, and the other having pale green as theirs. Both must also wear their hair back, and tease the exposure of skin through the use of lace, tight or sheer fabrics and more. A final detail is the use of colored sashes, but each Race, and even regional divisions have their own traditions on their colors/appearance.
- Traditional Rituals: There are two Estelley rituals maintained by all Races for a marriage. The first is the recitation of the Serenada, a brief harmonious poem told by each party which spells out their chosen deity of focus from the pantheon, and the benefit they bring to their match. The second is known as the Crafting of Beauty. Due to the natural powers of the Teledden, they take two simple, undecorated armbands of purest Gold, and transform them into a symbol of what they love about the other party. While this happens in real-time for Teledden ceremonies, other Races instead craft them or have them crafted in relevant materials and with relevant skills ahead of time for presentation at the ceremony.
- Other Notes: It is commonly believed the Crafting of Beauty gave birth to the later Ailor tradition of ring-giving, a practice seen in some groups, and while not formally part of Unionism, has slowly been growing in significance as the years wear on.
- Origins: For many millennia, the Asha Race were denied their ancient marriage customs by the Allorn Empire, resulting in them diluting and fading into mere stories. When their freedom came after the Cataclysm, the Asha fashioned new ceremonies for themselves in the image of a people proud and regaining what had been lost to them. To them, marriage is instead called Bondship.
- Service Requirements: Baskarr has several service features. The first is the presence of the parents of both partners, or imagery of their presence should they be unable to travel. The same is true even if the parents are deceased. Next, a Diviner must have given their blessing on the bonding, reading the signs that the time for the pair is right to marry. They can be involved to officiate the ceremony, but most are simply guests. The final requirement is a lack of Magic involved in the partnership. If there is Magic, then specialized rituals seeking to purify the bond must be performed at the actual ceremony.
- Traditional Attire: Baskarr weddings might be called scandalous affairs, as it is common for very little to be worn for them, save sleek, body-hugging clothing, and thin draperies which perfectly outline body features. They obviously still possess modesty, but the point is to express without shame, the bodies and the souls within that are being joined on that day. Additionally, prior to the wedding, the two parties involved must wear belts of matching cloth to indicate their Bondship for a period of at least two months. They then remove these during the ceremony.
- Traditional Rituals: Baskarr rituals are varied, dependent on regional traditions. One of the most common is an act most outsiders might view as strange, known as The Cleaning. In it, both partners will wash each other’s feet, often with the aid of Living Glass. This is thought to represent the care both parties will have with each other. Another ritual involves evoking all the Faces in a series of personalized prayers, honoring the female or non-binary partner in a union.
- Other Notes: To ward off the eager eyes of Akhet, Lord of Thousand Sons (there are several well known stories of his actions at weddings) from either partner in a wedding couple, it is customary for a dancer to engage in a long, ornate spectacle called The Sun’s Lure somewhere off to the side or back of the space chosen for the wedding. This can cause confusion for non-Asha guests, who often end up trying to split their attention between the dancer, and the couple elsewhere.
- Origins: There is no one origin for marriage in the worship of Dragons, for none of them are married to each other or have any known bonds with other beings. Instead, it is the traditions of each region and Race that encountered and worshiped the Dragons which developed their marriage customs.
- Service Requirements: Due to the nature of Draconic interest (which is to say disinterest) in unions, Dragon Worship has few solid requirements for a service. Instead, it is the Race or Culture of origin for those involved which set such tenants. Among the Sihai, courtship of at least six months is often required before a union can take place, while for the Songaskia, a home must be prepared and established by both parties before a wedding may take place.
- Traditional Attire: The Dragon faithful come from all walks of life and origin, and so wear a huge range of attire for their wedding days. Some follow colors or aesthetics of their chosen Dragon, while others follow more common traditions. However, one thing all Dragon Worship weddings have is the Wound Belt. This complex interlacing of fabrics, be it rough wool or smooth silk, is knotted, and then pinned by a personalized metal clasp depicting the Dragon chiefly worshiped by its wearer, overtop of all clothing worn for the ceremony. Hanging from the Belt are up to five “charms” with symbolism relevant to local societies.
- Traditional Rituals: There is only one traditional ritual of Dragon Worship weddings, and that is the removal of the Wound Belt. Due to an enchantment that goes into the fabric, when the Clasp of Change is removed (the process performed by the other’s partner), the fabric unwinds and leaps into the air, fanning behind the participants like the feathers on a peacock. The charms attached remain embedded in the fabric, and the pair are then expected to kiss, which then collapses the unwound Belts. Further rituals are diverse based on the groups performing them.
- Other Notes: Of all the Draconist faithful, the Urlan are the least likely to engage in the tradition of the Wound Belt. This is largely due to the innate magic being hard to produce for most Urlan, and use of fabric and metal which is seen as somewhat of a waste in their rugged society, where such material is better put to use in tools of the hunt.
- Origins: Evolism has no one common origin of its ceremonies, though a myth exists claiming the first Evolism wedding was held nearly 6000 years ago in the Allorn Empire. The bride and groom were secretly followers of the Void, and so when they went to their chambers on the wedding night, it was to instead suck out the life-force of a captive couple of great youth and love. The worshipers succeeded, and lived extended lifetimes as a result.
- Service Requirements: Evolism has wildly different requirements for the wedding based on the deity of focus for one or both partners. For instance, one demands that a prospective couple must hunt together three times, in three tests to kill or defeat specific beasts or beings chosen by a priest, or
- Traditional Attire: Similar to the requirements for a wedding, the attire of the partners involved changes drastically. Some demand ritual robes for the casting of spells, while others desire as much skin showing as possible, and further more don't care, and only insist the inclusion of a notable sash, item, or jewelry piece to indicate a marriage.
- Traditional Rituals: There are easily a hundred rituals for the wedding ceremonies of Evolism, a dozen for each and every deity in the dark pantheon. Some of the most notable ones are the Evening of Whispers, where in a pure dark room, the partners must find one another by whispering and passing messages through the guests, the Rite of Rhymes, where a long-form poem must be crafted in rhyming couplets by each participant in the ceremony on the spot, who must then write the composition in their own blood, and finally (and most infamously), the Sacrifice of Blood, when a family member is killed and their blood drained for bathing in when the evening is done.
- Other Notes: The followers of Eloba have the least egregious rituals in Evolism for a wedding, though that is not saying much. The Act of Festering for instance, calls for the rearing of a huge poisonous grub or worm, before its caretakers then kill it, and feed it to frogs and toads.
- Allar: Allar weddings are often fairly brief affairs, and involve the creation of alchemy. It can be something complex and deeply crafted by both parties, or largely the work of one, and something simple to get done. What matters is that both parties must put some contribution into the final product. Some Allar also take practices from other faiths and gods they have in their personal pantheon, but simplify the rituals or acts associated with them. Some Allar ceremonies only last ten minutes, and most involve the consumption of a meal afterward, though this tradition of rapid ceremonies is fading with the increase in influence from other Races and the Ailor in particular.
- Maraya: The Maraya have two main tenants to their three-day weddings, with a range of other customs called Honors one can choose to enact. The first is the performing of music, involving the use of an instrument with a voice or just the voice alone. Both partners sing one of a handful of traditional songs, with small substitutions to suit their personal situation. The second is the Tying of the Knot. The Maraya believe those getting married permanently knot their energies to each other, and this is represented by wrapping a chain of harmonized crystals around the partners’ hands and forearms, before they are cut apart, and the crystals realign around each arm, separate, but a blend of two colors.
- Bralona: The Bralona have no conception of marriage.
- Religious-based weddings are not binding within the Regalian Empire, not even Unionist ones. A couple who marry within the Regalian Empire must also sign a marriage certificate within the relevant Regalian bureaucratic offices. The process is simple and usually takes place before the religious-based ceremony.
- Players are encouraged to create their own features for weddings and bonding ceremonies, as the list here is meant to serve as a basic template for further creativity and personalization.
HydraLana on 11/2/2023.|
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