|Common Names||Tyrians, Regalics, Emp-lords|
|Origins||Imperial Court of the Regalian Empire|
|Social Classes||Intellectuals, wealthy, merchants, politicians, pro-royals|
|Major Cities||City of Regalia, various other cities scattered across the Regalian Archipelago|
Just as much a resistance Culture as it is a celebration of all other Cultures, Regal Culture is an artificial Culture created by Regalia’s intellectuals and cultured to combat what they described as the fanatically dogmatic, and regressively narrow minded attitudes of the other Cultures of Ailorkind. Opponents say Regal Culture is a face-less entity that erases cultural identity for the sake of conformity, while proponents claim it is the single Culture that will propel the Empire into a new bright future, with innovations in science and a cultural renaissance that dusts away the old oppositions nurtured by Ailor Cultures. Regal Culture was a Culture born out of the idea that all good qualities of other Ailor Cultures could be seized upon and nourished, while eliminating all the drawbacks and traditions that seem outdated, overly conflict ridden or just nonsensical. The Regal Culture has quickly become the most controversial Culture in Regalia, chiefly because of the sheer amount of propaganda wielded against it by those dogmatic supporters of old Cultures who continue to cling to old customs without asking the question if they should. Regardless of these controversies, Regal Culture is also the fastest growing Culture, with particularly wealthy families across the Empire adopting it in favor of their old traditions, creating hotspots from where the Culture continues to exponentially grow, particularly around centers of learning, as Regal Culture has quickly been embraced by the intellectuals and those centers of innovation.
Regal Culture was built to craft a better, united society from the disunity which has often caused political strife within the Regalian Empire. It embraces intellectual pursuits, and demands a more measured way of looking at the world than other groups espouse. Ultimately, Regal Culture is about stability through unity, and respect for what they take their own traits from.
There exists a process called Regalization, which can be performed by anyone, of any Culture, and any race and any religion. The act of Regalizing is making a public display of the end of one's dedication to one Culture, and embracing Regalism and Regal Culture as their future ideology. This usually comes after months of contemplation, dialogue and discussions with those who profess the need for the people to convert to Regal Culture, though it can also just be done on a whim for a practical purpose, or because someone already lives "in the spirit" of the Regal Culture anyway, and a change might as well be officialized. Regalization can however also happen very privately, just to a few people, or to only one's god(s). The process is usually completed by the person taking on an Regalized name (though not required, because other cultural names can just be kept), and doing away with their old wardrobe, which usually visually identified them as part of their old Culture, while donning new Regal style fashion. This process has often led others to misunderstand Regal Culture as just a fashion choice, because many people also fake converting to Regal Culture for political reasons, while still holding onto their old belief. These are called Regal Fencesitters by the true Regal cultured, those who try to toe-dip in both areas, but end up being excluded by both in equal measure. Regalization in itself is a fairly controversial concept, those who are Regal believe that the process is given far too much credit, and the fact that some people make so much of a display of it, is actively harming the name and reputation of Regal Culture. Still, the public visibility of notable figures changing their ideology to one strictly aligned with the Regal Culture, has helped the Regal Culture gain more public visibility and thus spread faster.
School of Eid
Regal philosophy is almost entirely focused around the School of Eid, which loosely translates to the School of Self-Thought and the oath to self. While other Philosophers think about the nature of morality and right, Regal thinkers are less concerned about external concepts, deferring them to the expectations of the Empire and their rulers, instead focusing on self-exploration and fully understanding one’s self. Regal philosophers believe that many citizens of the Empire operate on what they call “Automatism”, where they simply act based on a preconceived set of notions and beliefs, and rarely if ever stray from this track, even if their situation radically changes and requires new responses. They believe that through Automatism, that the citizens are unable to adapt and change to the changing times, and that if this continues, that the Eternal Pessimism will destroy the Empire and its citizens and doom the world to a thousand years of warring states. Regal Philosophers believe that this Automatism is so profound that most people aren’t even self-aware, as if they are being controlled by an ambivalent entity from afar that is only remotely interested in their continued existence, but is so busy orchestrating the circumstances of the living individual into a good outcome, that they lose perspective on everything else happening in the world, and call calamity onto the individual. These philosophers believe that this puppet master is called the “Player”, who pulls the string and plays out the life of the individual, but can never fully immerse themselves into the role of the individual, and thus ends up actually sabotaging the success of the individual. Regal Philosophers are often called annoying, because they play devil’s advocate, and sometimes just ask questions for the sake of the questions, questions specifically aimed at subjects that people don’t want to think about, or are convinced they already considered and concluded upon.
The concept of Cultural Erasure demands extra attention, as it is an often hotly debated topic both within the Regal community and outside of it. Cultural Erasure proclaims that the Regal Culture, even if it has good intentions, inevitably erases parts of Cultures, as it tramples over them with a comb to pick out the good ones, leaving out the bad ones. What the Regal cultured call Cultural Entrenchers (people who refuse to abandon their old Cultures) proclaim that upholding the beliefs and customs of their ancestors wholesale is important, as to abandon any part of it would be a betrayal to their own identity. Regal cultured don’t necessarily contest this, they do after all believe themselves that all aspects of Regal Culture are important, and one cannot simply pick and choose what one likes about a cultural upbringing. That being said, Regal cultured proclaim that the habit of cultural entrenchment is hypocritical, because it ignores the perpetual cultural evolution of Ailorkind (and other Races) by the passage of time, and that this evolution of Culture is a gradual process, and that Cultural Entrenchers convince themselves it is not happening as such. They point to the changes between Old Ceardians and Heartland Ceardians, how the former have more in common with Velheim nowadays than the modern cosmopolitan Heartland Ceardian trader, and how modern Velheimers with their Skaggers and wars have very little in common with the peace loving and relatively cowardly Proto-Velheim explorers and navigators. They believe that cultural change, whether fast or slowly, is cultural an inevitability, and in the total timespan of all of history, cultural changes are sometimes comparable to the blink of an eye, and as such are irrelevant to resist. Opponents in turn argue that the organic loss of customs and traditions is one born out of necessity or just happenstance, while Regal Erasure is artificial, and often entirely unnecessary. This is the ultimate ideological difference that Regal Erasers and Cultural Entrenchers fall into: Does the Empire’s society need to change.
Regal cultured strongly believe that the Empire does indeed need to change, as they believe that with the current calamities that strike the Empire with increasing speed and ferocity, that the underlying Culture war that is being waged between the Cultures will aid in the loss of cohesion and unity in the Empire. Furthermore, they also believe that the very act of colonial exploitation and imperialism, the act of settling and annexing foreign lands and stripping them of resources, creates animosity that makes the Empire itself immensely fragile. Regal cultured believe that every region in the Empire, no matter how far from the capital, should immediately transition towards a heartland province, so that they may have the same rights, laws, and economics applied to them. They believe that the Culture war extends itself also to a concept of "foreign otherness", where those in the Archipelago do not truly consider Ithanians as Regalians, but rather as subject people's, an attitude which in turn wavers Ithanian loyalty to Regalia, and results in diplomatic incidents as diplomats are unable to contain their sense of superiority over the provinces. It should as such be made abundantly clear: The Regal Culture is the only Ailor Culture that rejects the concept of Colonialism and Imperialism through the scope of exploiting foreign lands and Cultures and peoples for the benefit of the homeland. The Regal Culture desperately wants to create an intellectually and emotionally equal society by uplifting the realms that currently lack loyalty through inclusion. Several times already did the Empire nearly devolve into Civil War, and it has already done so twice, and Regal cultured are not sure that the Empire could survive a third Civil War, especially if the agents of order of the last episodes decided to cut their losses and isolate in their home provinces. Inversely, Cultural Entrenchers believe that the necessity is not that high, and usually have their own cultural contexts and reasons why they believe society’s Cultures are not the problem. Purists often blame the corruption of the Occult and non-Ailor, Ithanians blame the incessant warfare as a hit on the state budget and finances, Wirtem blame the frivolous spending on the part of the Ithanians and the party-making Dressolini, Anglians blame the excessive spending of the ruling classes and the Etosians blame the lack of piety on the masses. Regal cultured meanwhile, say all of these reasons are true, and that these are only reasons because the Empire does not have the unity to resolve them with a unified vision. Whatever the truth, Regal cultured are usually the victims of propaganda, making them out to be cultural brutes who salvage only a tenth of a Culture and erase the rest, punishing those who they believe engage in archaic practices. Inversely, Regal cultured often paint an overly rose-colored image of their Culture, ignoring the fact that it does indeed erase some cultural traditions and customs never to be seen again, and also ignores the fact that the Regal Culture isn’t exactly an answer for the poorest of society, who don’t have the money to live the prescribed lifestyle.
Regal Culture has a single language, being Empire Standard Common. This language is effectively identical to Common, except that it has a much larger vocabulary and a more formal tone of address, as a lot of sayings and words are borrowed from other languages. This form of Common is notably more articulated and enunciated when spoken, and as a result many regular Common speakers might find Empire Standard Common speakers to be poncy.
Regal Culture has its own set of naming customs, some taken from other Cultures, and others formed by combining the beginning of a particular Culture’s common name, followed by an ending that is generally easy to pronounce for all Cultures. This way, Regal names are hardly ever pronounced incorrectly regardless of what accent or dialect anyone speaks. A list of example names:
- Male: Juventus, Evander, Augustus, Florin, Antonius, Felix, Cyrus, Magnus, Lucian, Darius, Amadeus, Tarquin, Cyprian, Quintus, Auridian, Linus, Charles, Marcus, John, Florent.
- Female: Angela, Maia, Camilla, Claudia, Cornelia, Julia, Marcella, Aeliana, Cassia, Sabina, Valeria, Diana, Lara, Luna, Rhea, Bellona, Juno, Aurora, Cecilia, Rosa, Sara.
- Unisex: Valor, Aloys, Amor, Alba, Galla, Mila, Vesta, Celest, Frid, Iovita, Cinna, Dives, Ralla, Trio, Arden, Dani, Dominique, Eider, Jay, Montana, Milan, Jermaine, Nox, Quincy.
Religion has a very complicated basis for the Regal Culture. At its base, Regal Culture was founded in a sector of society steeped in Unionism, yet at the same time, Regal Culture is meant to appeal to all religions. Regal Culture is dominated mostly by Unionist followers, but there are certainly minorities of Old Gods, Faith of Estel, Shambala and even the Cult of Evolution among them. The Culture itself is strongly defined by Unionist values, but not its principles that some would deign to misinterpret to validate racism or bigotry towards others. As such, the general fate of the Empire should be to rule all the world. Unlike Unionism however, it is not because it will bring about paradise in the spiritual sense, but rather because it will bring greatness to the whole world, and the love and charity of the Emperor to all, thus making the lives of everyone better through His love. In many ways, Regal Culture is a more secular interpretation of Unionism that ignores the Everwatcher in most of its practices and customs, but still brings homage to the concept of what the Everwatcher stands for. Unionist symbols are still frequently used in Regal Culture however, with the Unionist eye being a common decoration of embroidery, as well as Dragons. That being said, depiction of other religious entities is also very common, as there is no such thing as blasphemy among the Regal cultured.
Regal clothing is one dictated by internal philosophy and outward expression of the most important term: class. Even the poorer and more destitute Regal cultured invest heavily into their clothing to keep up appearances, and if anyone were to draw some form of criticism of the Regal cultured that isn’t their habit to erase unwanted cultural customs of other Cultures, it would be that they spend far too much money on clothing, sometimes even putting them into debt. Primarily, Regal clothing style has two dominant styles:
- Rita: A style dominated by the color black. Black (and some sections of white) are used to create a very formal appearance with minimal color, but with intense golden embroidery decoration on the cuffs, seams and shoulders. Brocade is commonly used, with either embroidered patterns, or velvet stitched in a certain way to emulate flowers and shapes. Rita is often used by politicians, but also has a more emotional expression. Rita is used by those who want to express a social “closed-ness”. This does not necessarily mean that they are mean or critical of others, rather it means that they express themselves as hard to gain the trust of others, reserved, and observant. This aids interpretation among the Regal cultured, in terms of giving that person personal space as well as a set of social expectations and treatment befitting of someone who is more introverted with their feelings.
- Pena: A style dominated by the color beige, cream, or white. Creamy color is exceptionally common, meant to create a very airy and welcoming and bright appearance, with minimal color, but with intense golden embroidery decoration. Patterns on the fabric are not common in the Pena style, and unlike Rita, Pena does permit the use of silk, while Rita focuses more on heavy fabrics. Pena also prefers fabrics to be devoid of patterns besides the embroidery around the edges, so there is a play between the highly detailed framing, and the smooth solid color fields of the fabric’s center. Pena is often used by artists and intellectuals, but also has a more emotional expression. Pena is used by those who want to express emotional availability and willingness to converse with just about anyone. Note, this does not automatically mean they will be nice and welcoming to everyone about anything they wish to speak about, it purely means they are approachable. This aids interpretation among the Regal cultured, in terms of labeling someone as an extrovert, and drawing more attention to those who wish to have it and crave it.
Besides these dominant binary styles, there are also sub-choices of the dominant styles called Amendments. The Amendments are not singular, meaning a person can wear Pena style clothing, and use multiple Amendments on top of each other. Amendments are also not mandatory, with plenty of Regal cultured never using any of them, but they still add extra flair to an otherwise strict clothing style.
- The Amendment of Malta is the act of re-introducing color into the ensemble on top of Pena or Rita, with additional accessories. Normal vanilla Rita or Pena clothing ensembles have minimal color in them, just a necklace with a sapphire, or a belt with red velvet. The Malta Amendment reintroduces a great deal of color into the ensemble by adding sashes, capes, waist-coats and half-capes to the mix. These are usually brightly colored, and have an embroidery pattern that mimics the main clothing. Common choices are family house and crest colors, but also colors that are emotionally meaningful to the wearer.
- The Amendment of Arta is the act of combining Rita and Pena together to make a combined style that is called Arta. It is common for a main denominator to be chosen, so for example, Rita will be chosen as main style, while Pena will be chosen as subservient style. This is then expressed by adding additional items on top. For example, a person might wear a Rita dress and upper body piece, but then wear a Pena half dress over their black Rita dress. The use of Arta is usually expressed by someone who straddles the line between Pena and Rita, to be both introverted and extroverted, and to have periods where they are more predominantly one over the other. Arta is usually cleverly done in that in the afore mentioned example, the Pena half-dress might have a black satin inside, thus it is possible for the wearer to invert their Pena over-dress, signaling that they are now more reserved and closed than if they had been before. The act of Arta clothing is quickly replacing the Ithanian fan-language at the Imperial Court, at least for those wearing Regal clothing.’
- The Amendment of Talca is the act of stressing simplicity over wealth. Talcists as they are sometimes called, are those within the Culture that believe simplicity, pragmatism and minimalism are an art of their own, to be able to give great shape and expression to something without much of anything for decoration. Those who wear Talca have very straightforward clothing with as little seams as possible (or very well hidden seams), full body suits and the like are common, with the only real decoration being jewelry and hip-belts.
- The amendment of Gernica is the act of stressing militarism over fashion and style, yet still subjecting militarism to fashionable choices. This is an Amendment born out of an adoration of Velheim clothing styles, by combining armor with Regal (usually Rita, but Pena is also possible) styles. Very common here is to wear a laminar shirt, with some type of armor belt and shoulder/neck pieces. The armor pieces are usually semi functional. The laminar is always functional, while the belt and shoulder pieces are usually made of Gold or Silver and thus not wholly practical.
- The Amendment of Morgin named after Morgannan Kade who forced this style on her grandchildren, is sometimes also called the “Letterbox” style. This is a unisex addition that can be worn by anyone (though for those with more chest volume, strings are usually spun across the opening to prevent accidents) who wishes to be a bit more of a show-off with their physique, yet remain dignified in appearance. The style is dominated by a letter-box shaped opening from the top of the collar down to just below the sternum, with the bottom end either ending in a diamond shape, a square, or a rounded edge. For muscular physiques, this helps in accentuating peak fitness of the upper abdomen, while for more rounded shapes, this helps to accentuate inviting areas of intimacy. It is always very important with the Amendment of Morgin that the arms are completely covered, and that the wearer has a high collar, as showing any other skin would negate the aesthetic effects of the addition.
- The Amendment of Talos is the act of adding furs and a bit more color to the clothing to make a more playful expression. Talos can be imparted on both Rita and Pena, but usually works better on Rita, because the use of black furs is almost not-done in Regal fashion. The only furs used are Ermine white, and White Calemberger Fox. Talos is often used by those who are on their 2 year sabbatical, as well as those who still want to appeal to their youthfulness, though it is extremely unlikely to see Talos worn by those who have passed the age of 30.
On a closing note, it is not absolutely necessary to only wear black or cream colored clothing at all times. Regal cultured change up their fashionable expressions plenty of times, and sometimes their clothes don't follow their cultural tendencies at all. Regal Fashion is just a style guideline, most of Regal's ideology is based around its self-exploration and expression, scientific focus and cultural expansion, Regalian loyalty, and cultural cooperation. Fashion has nothing to do with any of these, but black and cream remain very popular.
Families and Romance
Family life among the Regal Culture is generally deemed (by the same scholars who are employed teaching their students) as the most effective upbringing for any child, and making sure the skills of the child always exceed the skills of the parent. Other Cultures do not very much cover or talk about the concept of what a life should serve within the context of the family, but Regal Culture does. Regal Culture makes a very strong distinction that to have children, is a duty of all Regal people, even if they cannot have them for medical or same-sex reasons. Where-as the Unionist religious community is very tacit not to talk about the concept of same-sex adoption, or awkward reproduction out of wedlock, Regal Culture centers have created the most complex and high quality adoption agencies in the Empire, a far cry from the child labor camps that were ran by the Anaheras in decades past. Furthermore, Regal Culture makes a very clear boundary, that life before children is in service of the career, the mind of self, and the Empire, and life after children is in service of those children. While many other Cultures see children as an extension of the legacy of the self, Regal Culture professes the need for any parent to put their own ambition aside to ensure a fulfilling, happy and educated childhood for a child before considering a continuation of their efforts. While having children is almost mandatory, Regal Culture does allow for exceptions to be made in service to the Empire, particularly to those who work in the fields of science and the study of societies. It is commonly culturally acceptable for Regal cultured to dedicate their entire lives to their art or inventions, and through those means serve the Empire’s greater good, and be rewarded for it. Yet, families turning their art and craft into businesses with the intention of being multi centennial enterprises, passing down cultural and intellectual art from generation to generation, are equally as common. It is sometimes hard to separate the excellent childhood the Regal children have as much of it is derived from the wealth of their parents, not necessarily the cultural expressions, but the end product cannot be denied, as Regal children on average are the most intellectually developed. They still lag behind on graduation numbers for advanced colleges like those among the Leutz-Vixe, but they excel at insight, problem solving and remaining level headed even in stressful situations.
Households of Regal Families are also more inclusive, and have some basis in that of the Velheim Culture. While a parent couple (or more, Regal cultured are not shy on Bigamy or Polyamory) rules the household’s finances, an homage is paid to the servants, elders and even neighbors to a degree. Parenting is a great skill Regal cultured have, by the concept of parents tends to be a bit more fluid among Regal children, who see the midwives, maids and gardeners as just as important in teaching them life lessons and appreciation for the working classes and nature around them. It is very common for an Regal child to be taught lessons before official school days by the servants, teaching them basic household skills. Regal cultured, even those among the Nobility, are sometimes degraded by Ithanians for “consorting with the servants” but Regal ladies take great pride in being able to roll up their sleeves and help out with the laundry, while Regal lords take great pleasure in having contributed to their competition winning hortensia flowers through gardening. The Regal household is ruled by the concept that “A house is only as strong as the fist from above willing to stabilize the foundations from below”. This has made the Regal Nobility some of the most capable in case some calamity were to wipe out all of the servant classes.
Regal Children are generally raised in a loving household that from the moment they are born focuses more on their education, development and self discovery than its own enrichment. Regal Children are often instructed early on by servants in simple household activities, and taught a value for nature and the works of man around them. They are taught by tutors when they are ready to learn how to read and write in matters of early philosophy and history and etiquette. When apprenticeship rolls around, they are instead sent to more general education schools with a wider range of teachings so they become roughly well-rounded. Then, something unique happens that only happens for Regal cultured. When Regal children become 18 years old, they are free to leave on a one or two year lasting Sabbatical, where they simply leave the household they grew up in, and travel the world (mostly on the expenses of their parents) to expose themselves to other places and other people, make new friends across the seas, and explore themselves before they decide what they want to begin their career in. Because careers start relatively late for Regal children, they end up becoming relatively old (around 30-50 years old) when they finally do have children of their own. ((Note: It is factually impossible to play a character that was raised in an Regal Household, as the handbook on how to raise a child was only made several years prior to actual roleplay years. That being said, players who want to still can write a character that was raised in an Regal Household, and the fact that this makes no chronological sense is simply hand waived in roleplay, as blocking out this possibility does not benefit anyone’s roleplay)).
The Regal Culture has flat concepts of gender, and generally rejects the very notion of gender specificity. Among Regal cultured, the belief that “The Everwatcher is blind to gender, all He sees is the color of the soul, and the soul has no form” (a quote from The Creed of Unionism), is a strong gesture in favor of gender dissolution, or at the very least social expectations of gender. The Regal Culture is the first Ailor Culture that expresses the possibility of the third gender, or gender-fluid individuals and that expectations of gender are harmful and breed unwanted qualities in people who have to compete over a strict pool of individuals who all roughly do and act the same way. This has led to some corner cases of men wearing women’s clothes and women wearing men’s clothes, which is commonly acceptable in Regal Culture, but less so outside of it. Either way, Regal Culture is a firm proponent of the idea that gender is a social construct, and that the success of women in the military recently (who were banned from the military for almost 300 years) proves that the Empire arbitrarily handicapped itself by denying it a massive pool of potential expert generals over social boundaries they applied to its population. It is important to note, Regal cultured don’t wholly reject gender and believe everyone should be non-binary in gender identification. On the contrary, those who self define female and male are still in the vast majority, but what is important, is that these labels do not define what these individuals are expected to behave as, unlike other Cultures (and even to a lesser extent, the very free Velheim Culture).
Regal-cultured people are not overly conservative or overtly progressive. Progressives sometimes accuse Regal cultured of not going fast enough, while conservatives accuse Regal cultured of just being progressives in sheep's clothing. The truth is somewhere in the middle, as the primary attribute of Regal cultured is that they are pragmatic. Regal cultured are harmonious with other Races (but there is still some room for generalization and discomfort with Races that look too alien for the individual). They believe more in the concept of religious tolerance (not necessarily open worship) and believe that besides the temples, religion is a matter to perform at home and not be discussed in public. Regal cultured are often very politically and financially aware, and are in favor of sensible religious policies. When it comes to the matter of the Occult, the Regal cultured are generally not as accepting as Velheim who accept nearly everything outright, but also not as conservative as the other Cultures, who generally decry Occult as corrupted. The Regal cultured see the Occult as the next big thing to use in innovations within the military and industry, stating that Magic has been conquered long ago, the threat of a Void Invasion is all but gone based on scientific reason, so now is the time to save millions of Regals to push fire Mages into the forges, and telekinetic mages into the retail industry. They also want to see an increase of the use of battle Mages in the military to save lives of soldiers, a cause that was championed by Emperor Cedromar I early on. Still, Regal cultured hold onto old Regalian traditions, like homage and respect for Knights, a staunch sense of royalism, and pro-Emperor loyalty. Overall, Regal cultured are willing to forgo their personal preferences for pragmatic progress for the Empire as a whole, prosperity for all (but particularly themselves) and good times to return and stave off the pessimism that has gripped the Empire.
World View represents a more loose collection of ideals, customs and traditions that were not specific enough to deserve their own section, but are still thematically relevant. These are useful to help frame certain interactions between the Regal people and others.
- Regal literature is mostly related to an essay or thesis of some sort, as a large portion of the Regal cultured are intellectuals, poets, philosophers and authors. Regal cultured don’t write much for the sake of fiction, though when they do it is often laced with allegories and metaphors about the dangers of straying from kindness, hierarchy and order, and the benefits of Regal Culture, cooperation and innovation and progressivism. Regal literature, in comparison to something such as Ithanian poetry, is brutally pragmatic and fiery. The library of Regal Culture based literature is relatively small in present day, however since most of the cultures intellectuals of the Empire are Regal, their archives are expected to grow beyond all others within a matter of years.
- Regal cultured also have the most active re-printing and translating businesses, translating and republishing even simple things like Velheim cooking recipes or childhood tales, to Vultarin manuals on the use of artillery, or Caeren herbology books. Regal bookstores are commonly believed to have the widest selection of books from other languages and places around the world.
- Regal Art is the greatest celebration of Culture and artistic expression, far exceeding other Cultures who focus mostly on one principle, or ban a specific other. Regal Culture believes that art can be expressed in an infinite number of ways, from something as obvious as sculpting to drawing and painting, to something as novel as cutting shapes into large lily leaves, or weaving shapes out of paper-folded animals. Regal cultured believe that art is an expression of the inner soul, and as such, is always one of the most important things to spend money on besides one’s own family, food and clothing (which is also called an art in Regal Culture).
- Sculptures are exceptionally popular among Regal artists, and even more so marble or Copper. Statue casting is a major discipline that finds most of its advances among the Regal cultured forgers, while statue cutting and carving has experienced a true renaissance among the Regal sculptors, rivalling the great statues of the Allorn Empire of ages past, and according to some, even exceeding them. Common depictions are the “ideal” body shape of any gender, but also quite common are displays of Solvaan and Breizh fighting metaphorical expressions of the tyranny of the King of Regalia before the founding of the Empire. In Regal cultured art, there truly is no one thing considered taboo, as the very idea of narrow-minded artistic viewership is frowned upon. It is absolutely acceptable for someone to not like a piece of art and move on, but according to the Regal cultured, art cannot be constrained and bound and gagged when one does not like the subject, and an artist must be allowed to express their artistic talent and expressions as freely as they can come up with. Even if this means depicting ridicule of the Royal Family or the government, something that does invite some controversy even among the Regal cultured.
- Regal Culture borrows its musical direction directly from Dressolini, but spends more time emphasizing on the relation between soprano and orchestra through arias, as opposed to greater orchestral pieces with choir backing. The soprano is often a key piece of the composition, while crescendos are also very popular in such musical pieces. Composers will also try to play off a soprano with a violin, creating a duo-play that is supposed to emphasize divinity (through the voice) and control and poise (through the violin). Cellos are also used to create a feeling of dread, only to be cast away with the crystalline brilliance of a soprano voice. To Regal cultured, music should be a careful balance of the bombastic and loud, and the gentle and soft but clear and present focus. For more private settings, Regal cultured often prefer a single violin play. They tend to play rather dramatic pieces, though not ones too oppressive towards the atmosphere of a room. These violin players are often delegated to another room so as to mute their sound to avoid them conflicting with conversation. That being said, string quartets are also quite popular in public settings and gatherings where crowds are large enough to dim the volume of the violins playing.
- Regal architecture is not too dissimilar from Wirtem architecture, though with Regal architecture, support beams and stone decorations often feature more air and light with large windows, as opposed to more brutalist stone structures. Regal cultured also use a lot of statues in their architecture, supporting pillars are often carved in the likeness of warriors or people holding up the building, while effective rain-water drainage systems are installed to keep the buildings in peak condition. It is generally believed that while other Cultures have simply frozen in time with their architecture, Regal cultured keep trying to innovate to push the boundaries of construction, building ever bigger, higher and more ornate. Regal architecture makes use of dark roof tiling, usually dark granite or dark painted brick. Wall materials are gray or white, while painted details and murals are very common especially in public buildings, showing the purpose of a building on the wall for those who cannot read. Most Regal buildings are built with verticality in mind, with the intent to impress and wow anyone gazing upon them. The interior of Regal structures is entirely designed to force a visitor or foreigner through galleries and ever-high corridors. This is meant to create the illusion of ascending to something of much greater importance, before finally arriving at a great hall, a style adopted from the Altalar. Regal bedrooms and great halls are usually synonymous, as higher ceilings are very popular in Regal bedrooms with massive windows.
- Regal cuisine is not so much a cuisine of its own. Rather, it simply takes existing dishes of all other Cultures, and preserves them in large volumes of printed recipe books. Then, on top of that, recipe books usually have a “cultural fusion” section, where the authors try out combining different racial or cultural cooking techniques to complete entirely new dishes, not with the intent to replace the food of other Cultures, but to try and celebrate both at the same time. Regal kitchens are as such usually the most well supplies from Altalar replacement salts, to Suvial spices, Mai-Allar sea-food, Velheim salted meats and fish, Anglian grains and cereals, Leutz-Vixe fruits and Etosian wines. Regal cultured love having a little bit of everything and eating sumptuous dinners with friends and loved ones where everyone makes small dishes to present on the table together, and everyone eats a little bit of everything on display.
- Regal Culture glorifies sports in all forms, from simple Leutz-Vixe fencing to intensive military drills and even wrestling for physical strength. The physical ideal is that of a trained and well groomed physique. Not everyone is able to pursue this ideal, but many invest in fencing or sword fighting of one means or another, with Regal cultured being the most common visitors to fitness gymnasiums created by other Cultures. Sports, aside from fencing, are barely done in public. Most Regal households have a specific health room, usually adorned with additional spa facilities where one maintains their physical peak condition. What few sports are engaged with in public are mostly combat tournaments or competitions of some sort. Regal cultured are very fond of their privacy, and notably have the wealth not to have to be sweating with everyone in public, concerned over their (sometimes) vain and well groomed image being ruined by some unfortunate sweat drippage.
- Regal leisure is very wide and with a lot of variety, and as opposed to sports often done in public with many others, including even other Races and Cultures. Regal Culture does not really have a single set of leisure to engage in, rather the only rule is that “leisure should be done with others, unless it is reading a book, in which case it is studying”. Regal cultured can often be seen in Eronidas bath houses, Velheim sparring fields, Dressolini music halls, Etosian shrines, and Heartland Ceardian poetry recitation Courts. Regal cultured engage in any type of leisure, and it is important to them that leisure simply is whatever anyone likes doing at any given time, rather than arbitrarily limiting their activities over some sort of taboo activity or other.
- That being said, Regal cultured are very fond of the so-called “Tea Houses” or “Kaffee Cafes”. This is because while being pro-Empire and pro-Regal in nature, Regal cultured are also keenly aware that a lot of things happen in the Empire every day, and that juicy gossip can be found mostly where people meet. Regal cultured love gossiping about the embarrassments of their rivals and rivals, but also to talk fondly of the achievements of their friends and allies. Political commentating is also a massive past-time leisure of the Regal cultured. Regal cultured often come together after major political events to discuss the ramifications of the events, and to speculate about future events that will happen as a result of what just happened.
- Regal Culture is a bit different than other Cultures in that it does not have distinct dates upon which to have national holidays, but rather has a sort of “meta” month naming and theming that chooses to use whole months to bring homage to certain things in life. As such, most if not all days of the year are working days for the Regal cultured, but the concept of celebrating something is more passively done, and over longer periods of time. The month theming is as followed:
- January is the celebratory month of Janus, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the Krainivaya, Byala, Dvala, Ohrneti, and Szabadok, and the concept of the frontier worlds. They celebrate the bravery of those who venture into the frontier lands and become hardy as a result, bringing fortune and wealth where there is only desolation and risk. In this month, Regal cultured help fund colonial expeditions or supplies, while also hosting tournaments for hardy warriors to compete for money prizes.
- February is the celebratory month of Favrius, a month in which the Regal celebrate the Breizh and Altalar people specifically. The Regal Culture is the only Culture among the Ailor that does not Ailor-wash the role of the Breizh and Altalar (Solvaan) people at the creation of the Regalian Empire, and celebrate them as the left and right vanguards of progress. Solvaan and Breizh combat schools can count on Regal patronage during this month, while this is also the month in which Regal cultured shop for Solvaan or Breizh bodyguards, a practice which has given rise to 90% of Regal cultured who have a bodyguard in employ, having one either.
- March is the celebratory of Mannus, which is specifically to celebrate the Fridurfolk, Toulonne and Burdigala people, as well as the general concept of prosperity in peace. The Regal cultured thank these Cultures for teaching the values of peace and the wealth that it brings. This is month also of forgiveness, where Regal cultured try to mend years old rifts between people, or even act as mediators for issues between other people.
- April is the celebratory month of Avrilla, which is specifically aimed at celebrating the work of the Dunbrae, Caeren, and Aontaithe, who can find brightness and happiness even in the mosty desolate and remote places in the world. This month in particular is defined by comedy and theatre and performance, where Regal cultured act as patrons to the performing arts, and attempt to use comedy to make the days brighter for everyone, while also engaging in copious amounts of alcohol consumption.
- May is the celebratory month of Marin, which in direct opposition to Avrilla is a month of solemn thought and self reflection. In this month, the Regal cultured celebrate the Etosian, Genevaud, and Leutz-Vixe people and their focus on inner peace and exploration (and sometimes spiritual deliberation). The Regal cultured engage in a lot of meditation during these months, and writing their thoughts out in letters, often to their friends and loved ones, but sometimes also just to send to no-one and tie to trees for any passer-by to read (anonymously of course). This is usually a time here the Regal cultured try to write what they cannot or won’t say out loud, usually words of praise, or confessions of wrongdoing or passion.
- June is the celebratory month of Juneres, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the Ithanians and Wirtem who gave them fashion, militarism, and prestige in light of the sun. This month is very sun and moon themed, where couples dress up as either and perform dances of the celestial bodies during balls, while also pulling out the newest fashions of the year. June is the month to reveal and launch new fashion into the world for Regal cultured.
- July is the celebratory month of Juceres, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the foundational work of the Anglian people, the harvest of the Empire, and the bounty of nature. During this month, the Regal cultured host feasts for the peasants specifically, donate to build temples in deprived areas, and commission art for galleries to enrich the cultural experience of the common classes. The Anglian celebration of Jan Andermans is also celebrated by the Regal cultured during this month, where they change up their wardrobe to resemble that of another Culture for a while.
- August is the celebratory month of Augustum, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the Empire, soldiers, the army, and the Marshal’s cabinet. During this month, Regal cultured across the Empire fund military parades as well as monuments to commemorate the fallen soldiers with extensive sculpting and stone carvings of exquisite details.
- September is the celebratory month of Sevterin, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the warmth and passion of the Daendroque, Bragacao and Dressolini people with festivities and more importantly, holidays abroad. Regal families visit other locations across the Empire in this month, usually up to a maximum of a week, in an activity called Tourismo, named after the small town of Tourismo in Vultaro that grew into a massive city and is a major go-to location for holiday traveling Regal cultured. This month is also common for Regal cultured to give gifts to others and share their charity with their friends.
- October is the celebratory month of Okturn, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the holy priests of the Empire, not just Unionism, but all priestly individuals. They are tasked with understanding other religions by traveling to the preachers of other beliefs, and enriching their own understanding of the spirituality of others. During this month, the Regal cultured also take extra care for any religious items they have or shrines they maintain.
- November is the celebratory month of Naxmacht, a month in which the Regal cultured celebrate the honor and strength foundations given to them by the Velheim, Tarkkin and Zvorun people. During this month, the Regal cultured make donations to the military, hire fencing and fighting instructors, invest capital in poor regions of Drixagh, and act as patrons to educational institutions. Additionally, they hold the feasts of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, where the primal elements are celebrated while everyone offers food and drink to one another, and they participate in Old Gods burials, while inviting those Old Gods worshipers to aid them in their own burials. Regal cultured never bury their dead in any other month than November, instead, the dead are preserved or simply buried in a stone casket in a cooled basement, until the burial season has come.
- December is the celebratory (or more commemorative) month of mourning called Desept, where all Regal cultured celebrate those who have passed away. This is usually done by gathering around a fire with hot chocolate milk and telling stories, to relive the lives of those who have passed by recounting the good and the bad to each other. The Regal cultured believe that those who died might be kept alive by retelling their tales. The act of “pouring one out” (pouring a drink for a dead friend and pouring it out on the ground) comes from the Regal practice of always pouring a drink for the one who has died, and pouring it into the fireplace when the gathering is complete.
The history of Regal Culture is hard to pin down, as with being an artificial Culture, its creation had multiple sources and there was no true single inception point. Most scholars and cultural experts in the modern times agree that its rough idea creation started around the rule of Emperor Justinian II, who was actually once born as Justeux le Deuxième, but rejected the dogmatic Ithanian Culture in favor of a more centrist Regal ideal. Around this time, the Imperial Court was rife with Ithanian and Wirtem opposition, two diametrically opposed Cultures that create squabbles and even wars over something as simple as dress code and gender norms. Justinian II believed firmly that cultural opposition was one of the greatest plagues on the Empire, and that the Regalian Pessimism was entirely caused by the foundational collapse of the Empire’s internal cooperation. He wrote a series of letters called “The Professions of the Regalismus”, which were more like letters of complaint towards the idea that as the Empire grew larger, more and more people started seeing those further removed from them as “other”, and treating them as enemies over having little in common. Indeed, when the Regalian Empire was founded, it was mono-cultured around Anglia, with only token presence from the Breizh and Altalar Cultures as supporting roles. As the Empire expanded, the distance between the capital and the far flung Marches of the realm became greater and greater, and the odds that someone had never met someone from the capital increased. By the time the Skagger Wars had ended, some Drixagher natives would never even see a Regalian flag, despite being born inside the Empire, and paying taxes through a labyrinthine system of bureaucracy.
Justinian II adopted a more neutral name based on combining syllables of names from other Cultures (also retroactively renaming his ancestor Justinian I), which created the first question: can one combine aspects of Cultures to create a new Culture? This concept was a core question for many intellectuals who had joined Justinian II and Moriarty Kade as Senators in the short-lived Regalian Senate, but would continue to work on the matter even after the Senate’s dissolution, and through the Empire’s highly militaristic and racist zeal during the Chrysant War. The intellectuals eventually agreed that all Cultures have rough base tenets, loyalty and respect for elders, kindness and charity to strangers, obedience to hierarchy and those in power, and good spiritual and honest conduct to one’s principles. Yet, they also found that most culturally dogmatic focused heavily on the oppositions between Cultures, as opposed to what united them. The Ithanians and Wirtem would always focus on their gender based opposition, and not agree to celebrate the fashion and art values they held dear, and their adoration of the knightly profession. Velheimers and the Wirtem would always clash over historical precedents, wars that had no living memory, and their differences in religion, yet ignore the commonalities they had towards an honor and respect based Culture, with heavy traces of militarism and personal strength and bravery.
True Regal Culture and its core tenets did not really begin to muster to the fore until a series of public essays between an anonymous essayist (who is commonly believed to have been an Imperial Prince), and Lady Moselberg. These essays generally referred to as “The Moselberg Exchange”, originally started as a eulogy and subsequent counter-narrative on the respectable status of Knights, but quickly became a critique of the cultural tribalism of the ruling class families of the Empire who often whipped up their servants and peasants into a culture-war fanaticism that caused further conflict. While both essayists disagreed on the honorable nature of Knights, they both agreed that individual cultural contexts were harmful to the Empire at large, and that a greater sense of Regal nationalism should overrule individual customs. This Moselberg Exchange was the first real recorded mention of the concept of “Regal Culture”, yet it still distinctly lacked body.
This body would come in the form of Morgannan Kade, born Morgannan Wispelmuur from a backwater province of Anglia. When Alexander I became the Emperor of Regalia through the settlement act, Morgannan Kade quickly became a rising star in the Imperial Court as the decrepit yet keenly sharp of mind grandmother of the royal, and incidentally also the mother of Moriarty Kade who had already worked with Justinian II to combat cultural tribalism and regionalism in the years before. Morgannan Kade started experimenting with cultural expressions outside of the norms at Court, ostensibly to promote feminism at a highly male dominated Court, but later as a protest movement to the strictly binary views of the Ithanian and Wirtem Court members. She rejected the Ithanian concept of “Women’s bodies to be seen”, and the Wirtem concept of “Women covered in modesty”, to instead promote “Women with dignity, but celebrating their visibility”. Equally, she rejected “Men to posture to intimidate others”, instead dressing up her grandsons in law in clothing best to be described as “Men to posture for the female gaze”, as she believed that if women were to present for the pleasure of men, then women should get their fair share also. Clothing here started the first real wades towards Regal Culture. Morgannan Kade would never see the fruits of her labor, as she was murdered by a group of Dread Dragon fanatics during the Dragon Crisis of several years back, however she is still seen as the grandmother of the Regal Dialogue (a term used to define those who have started rejecting dogmatism in their own cultural surroundings).
It was Emperor Cedromar in his one-year reign that released the “Regal Doctrine”, a paper that was picked up by the very intelligentsia that he had shoved aside when Emperor Alexander I abdicated. Cedromar had installed military control in many parts of the Empire, dispossessing the intellectual leaders that his predecessor Alexander had enabled in government. Yet, when Cedromar released his Regal Doctrine (which was largely aimed at de-culturing the army), the intellectuals seized upon it and started formulating the final real definition of Regal Culture, by traveling the lands and compiling the cultural conflicts and collaborations. This document called "Regal Doctrine II" was then released, originally as a protest to Cedromar’s militarily controlling rule, however as a comedic twist of fate, Cedromar ended up liking the Regal Doctrine II so much that he made it Court style. Even after Cedromar abdicated in favor of Alexander I to retake the throne, Alexander I continued the work of his supporters, and started heavily promoting Regal Culture by offering up Court and government positions to those who had abandoned what was in his eyes an aging cultural narrative of the Empire. Many of the Regal hotbeds nowadays were formed out of these early adopters, snatching up lucrative government contracts that would ensure wealth for a local area, creating new financial centers in a matter of months as old infrastructure shifted to the newly built regions.
Regal Culture is particularly strong in Basta and Vultaro-Montania due to its heavy promotion by House Delmotte, du Creux, and Heress-Omerie on the Ithanian side, and House du Pont and Calavante on the Leutz-Vixe and Dressolini side. Other regions with major growth are the southern city states of Girobalda, San Selin and San Mataverda, Venetiane in Lorhauser, and virtually the entire northern regions of Dragenthal and south of Anglia, the regions closest to the capital. Notably, all these regions are the roughly wealthiest regions of the Archipelago, which has given rise to the terming of “Wherever money goes, Regal Culture follows”. Even in the capital, Regal Culture has become the dominant Culture among the non-noble aristocracy and the wealthy classes and intellectuals and artists. Still, Regal Culture resistance is fierce also in the capital, particularly by marginalized Cultures, and also by the peasants, who continue to be given a different narrative about what Regal Culture represents, as something that means to turn them into thought-less gray masses without value, instead of the Culture that seeks to enrich and uplift everyone in the Empire through technological progress, innovative cooperation, and a cultural renaissance.
By far the most popularly used Regal Culture symbol is the Unionist eye from which sun rays shine downwards, combining both Unionist and Shambala symbology, though replacing the sunrays with a growing tree to combine Old Gods elements are just as common. These sun rays may either be wavy patterned or simply straight. Other symbols include Dragons and Storks in flight together, or military emblems like a Knight on a horse or a soldier in formation. Within jewelry, blue, white, purple, black or clear crystals and gems are used, while both gold and silver are interchangeably used, though gold is generally preferred. There is a subschool of symbology called the “Royal Pantheon”, which brings homage to the great royal houses of the Empire in juxtaposition to the Imperial House. This can sometimes be seen through the depiction of the Dragon (representing House Kade) at the center, flanked or surrounded by any combination of the following symbols: Wolf (Howlester), Swan (do Lobo), Winged-Horse (de Gosselin), Wild boar (Krumme). Sometimes symbols also include a Dragon or Stork (representing House Ivrae) with just one of these symbolic animals in some type of display, like hunting together or playing together. Royal symbolism is very popular among the Regal cultured, who are absolutely staunch royalists and are extremely anti-Republicanism.
- To some, Regal Culture is just “Unionism Light”, with all the religious aspects removed. Many Regal cultured however wear this as a badge of honor, as it proves their effective means to propaganda.
- The biggest detractors of the Regal Culture are actually the nobility of other entrenched Cultures, who often have personal and political benefit to isolating their people from the common consciousness of the Empire and feeding into culture wars.
- Regal cultured are almost entirely urban. There are very few Regal countryside dwellers, purely by the nature of Regal cultured aiming to go up in the social ladders, and few such opportunities exist in the countryside within the Culture.
- The lack of overt colors in Regal fashion has led many to fear a complete market collapse of dyes if Regal fashion ever becomes dominant.