|Common Names||Daens, Rebel Scum, Sunbaked, Ship Rats|
|Social Classes||Sailors, criminals, mercenaries, writers, artists, hard laborers, merchants, nobles|
|Major Cities||City of Daenshore, Portimao, City of Arvost, Hallonq, El Puerto Azul|
The Daendroque Culture is an interesting blend of Elven, Qadir and Ceardian ideals (with some even adding Varran in that mix). It was born from the former slaves of the Elven Empire who, after the Cataclysm, rose up and fled their Elven masters to make new lives for themselves in the landmass they called home. From this was born a culture resistant to the large-scale governments such as empires, a people inclined towards crime, and a ticking time bomb on the Alorian political stage. In recent years, this bomb has exploded, and untold numbers of Daendroque people have died. This hasn’t killed their spirit, as the lively people are known for their revealing clothing, bright colors and high energy, but the latest generation may grow up to bring about another explosion unless their growth is handled carefully.
The Daendroque Culture began centuries ago, even before the Cataclysm occurred, among the Ailor slaves of the Elven Empire. Far from home, in hostile territory, the Ceardian Ailor tried grouping themselves together as much as possible, away from the other slaves of various races. In the beginning, this was mostly out of fear as the scaled Allar and Slizzar, furred Varran, and dark-skinned Qadir were indeed mysterious and often incomprehensible regarding language. But over time, they got to know their fellow captives and received minor cultural infusions from each. The most prominent were the Qadir, who infused the Ailor with Qadir blood through interbreeding and who gave them ideas in architecture and cuisine. Another race, no less important, were the Varran who most feel instilled the ideas in Daen society of the accumulation of wealth as power and the value placed on physical/external beauty and body ornamentation. Ultimately within the few final years before the Cataclysm, Daendroque society had been born and soon found many causes to help champion their new identity. First was the Fifth Void Invasion, which saw thousands of slaves stream north with their masters to fight the Void, earning knowledge and witnessing actions that would bring them to their second act, that being rebellion. When the Cataclysm took place and the Altalar were cut off from the majority of their great magics, the slaves struck. Across the entire Empire, thousands of Ailor, Varran, and Allar rose up.
In the coming years, many escaped, some fled Daen entirely for areas like the southern Regalian Archipelago but the majority of Ailor stayed in the land they felt was theirs. They set up a bevy of states along the central eastern coastline, the most prominent being Daenshore, and pushed back against their old oppressors. However, their societies were built on revolt and revolution, and local governments always had to contend with local pushback against central authority, their memories of the last body (the Elven Empire) still fresh in their minds. However, in the second century AC, two major changes occurred for the Daendroque people. The first was their conquest by the Regalian Empire. Some fought against this, but many leaderships saw the writing on the wall as economically they were already tied to Regalian vassals and militarily, they were well behind the powerful Empire. Then came the second change: Daendroque nobility. Up until this point, nobility and the aristocracy were seen as impossible to exist within the Daen lands due to their ancient past. However, following the creation of the Dressolini culture around 180 AC, 200 AC saw some of these people return home and help Regalia in their rule of the locals. One of the first nations was Lusits, who already had a class of merchants and landowners eager for titles to tie themselves closer to the Regalian Empire. However, this planted a seed of discontent in Daen which has exploded in recent years.
The first explosion occurred in the first half of 303 AC when the 11th Creed was put into effect. This Creed, while now defunct, freed tens of thousands of Elven slaves kept by Daen landowners in a system many of them considered to be just deserts for their ancient tormentors (even though the majority of their slaves descended from the lowest caste of Altalar who could never afford slaves even at the height of the Empire). In anger, these plantation owners and lower nobility along with their guards and armed militias stormed north and chose to attack Ithania in a horrific and bloody attack that murdered hundreds of other Ailor, perhaps even thousands, in retribution for the actions of the then Emperor, Alexander Kade. In the second half of 303 AC, another horror occurred. Andrieu Anahera, twin brother to the then Governor of Daenshore Alejandro Anahera, murdered this twin and set about performing the Anahera Occupation on the Regalian Archipelago. Tens of thousands died as he attempted to push Daen ideals of liberty and freedom onto a mostly unresponsive Empire. He ultimately died on New Year’s Day in, ironically, a massive revolution against his own rule. Across Daenshore and less secure Daen states, chaos erupted, and those who had supported Andrieu turned on each other with Regalia eventually establishing nominal control. Under Emperor Cedromar I, the ultimate punishment and humiliation was subjected on the heartland of the Daendroque Ailor. He ordered a retreat of the army sent to protect them from the Avanthar during the Long Elven War and while the significant cities endured, the countryside was pillaged of all its wealth, and many Nelfin slaves took this chance to try and escape. The Regalian army then returned and seized control after the Dragon Emperor fractured the unity of the Avanthar just as he had in one single stroke shattered the resistance of the Daendroque people.
For now, there is peace, and the vast majority of the Daendroque people have fallen into line from the horrors they have endured. Daendroque nobility is also mostly absent, sequestered far away from their subjects as they too recover and try to deal with what Regalia has done. However, military planners and those kind souls who work in the social services sector fear the day the young and fatherless men of the current generation grow up and worry history may repeat itself. Because of this, many are trying to plan to prevent that from happening but only time will tell if their various methods will have any positive effect against it.
Language and Dialects
Daendroqin or sometimes confusingly called Daendroque is a language with a simple background. It is a tongue formed out of Modern Elven, which is itself a dissolution of Imperial Elven. It is a language simpler than Modern Elven and is structured similarly to D’Ithanie due to their dual Elven origins. Daendroque culture also puts minimal emphasis on Common, as they feel it is a “Regalian construct” and instead also learn Modern Elven which results in those who do know Common having a noticeable foreign accent as they steeped in Elven phonetics and speaking styles for much of their life.
Daendroque names are known for their length, especially those of nobility. In fact, the names Daendroque nobility create for themselves are considered second only to Ithanian names in their complexity. In general, for all classes, male first names often end in “o” while female first names almost always end in an “a.” Daendroque middle names are often the longest parts and almost tell a story, often of a family’s most major or significant member, their family job history, origin and current living location. Finally, Daendroque surnames are known to often end in the odd letter of “z”, but “a” and “o” are also common. All of this adds up to extremely long names. For example, a male child born to a group of cobblers from the Elven city of Grae Rie now living in the poorest section of Daenshore would possibly have the full official name of “Samuel el Pobre Remendón de Graella Riendo ahora Barrio-Bajo Muñoz.” Nobles make this much worse, adding in information like the first member who swore an oath of loyalty to the Regalian Empire or include language stating they are the offspring of as many as three notable figures from history. In addition to that, local regions have slight differences in structure, as while some might state their city of origin, others would state the city their father came from or the city their mother’s father came from. It is little wonder then that Daendroque people often go by pet or nicknames, some derived from their names (Samuel might choose the nickname of Elpobre to be unique) or simply derived from some trait or feature they are known for. A man with long hair, for instance, might be called “Cola-Caballo” or literally “horse tail” after the long hair on a horse’s tail. For first names, some examples below:
Daendroque law is one of the least present aspects of their culture. While their reputation for treachery, criminal activities and violence is exaggerated, they do favor a decentralized approach to their government and dislike large lists of rules and regulations. This means that with time, many Daendroque citizens have learned what parts of the law are pliable and open to interpretations that might benefit themselves and their actions. Most lawmakers and law enforcers also have a more relaxed policy due to strong community ties. While this can lead to outright corruption, especially in more urban areas, rural regions often get along fine balancing illegality, for example, hurting another man’s slave with the fact that the slave is a dirty Nelfin and needs to be taught a lesson by those whom it formerly enslaved may not be punished at all themselves. A final note on the law is that aspects such as Regalian Civil Status that state groups like Nelfin races have equal status to Ailor are routinely ignored in favor of a more class-based system of rule enforcement. If you are on top and making the Regals, you’re rarely touchable, and this is almost always Ailor families. This mainly has to do with maintaining social and societal order as instability can arise should say, a crime lord be arrested, and his competitors choose to fight it out in the streets to see who is the best, prompting local authorities to often give slaps on the wrist to such large-scale criminals or make deals, all in order to avoid further violence.
Lifestyle and Customs
Daendroque families are known to put heavy emphasis on the elderly members of a family and longstanding family businesses. The old are seen as experienced, wise and often the strongest members of the family in prestige. A son gone to war and now a general must still kneel at the side of his mother’s armrest to hear her counsel, at least in the most idealized versions of this relationship. In reality, they are often just respected family members who often make the family rules along with whoever is the oldest male child. The family business is also a cornerstone of Daendroque family life. A family of dressmakers is likely to have been doing that job for as long as 200 years with at least one child kept at home each generation to help carry on the traditions, the tricks, and the family business rules. Ideally, this is the oldest child but as time has gone on, second or third children are often the ones to stay at home. The one family business where this is not the case is merchant sailing, for obvious reasons, but even then sailors are expected to raise sailor sons and possibly a daughter should they have no sons. Children can leave the family business, but it is generally frowned upon. Individual families are themselves made up of a husband, wife and assorted children. The ideal scenario is at least three children, the so-called perfect deterrent against a family business of unity breaking apart. Daendroque society even labels them as “the one who dreams, the one who rebels and the one who stays” though rarely do a set of three children exactly fit these molds.
Fraternization between the sexes is ordinary in their younger years, especially in the lower classes but between the ages of twelve to fourteen, boys and girls are more firmly separated by society. Young women must learn the tasks of their mother and any other female member living with them while the young men must dive deeper into the trade or job of their fathers or uncles. At the age of sixteen, after a special ceremony performed at their birthday, girls officially become women and marriage is expected of them within the next several years. Boys becoming men, alternatively, often revolves around the sexual conquest of a woman but some trades also set alternative rites of passage, such as lumberjacks proclaiming their child a man when he cuts down his first tree all on his own with no or minimal help. Marriage often occurs between the ages of seventeen to twenty, but there has been a growing trend in Daendroque society to marry later in life. Many Daendroque couples marry for love but arranged marriages are common in the upper strata of society for political or financial gains that aid powerful family dynasties. A perfect example of this would be the marriage of the Queen of Lusits Julianna de Lobo to the then Emperor Alexander Kade during the First Songaskian War. Children are almost universally expected to come from a marriage in Daendroque culture, with this expectation even extending to bad unions. Infertility is seen as a great tragedy, but in such cases, the classical idea of throwing away the impotent spouse has been replaced with adoption over the past several decades.
However, Daendroque families do have a dark side to them. In Daendroque culture, the strongest, bravest and most powerful make it in the world and so it is them who should rule a family. While this harsh ideal was once far more prevalent, resulting in huge killings of whole branches of family trees, modern Daendroque families rarely if ever resort to such brutal methods nowadays. However, the tradition lives on in the organized crime rings of the Daendroque culture where men fight it out for control of an organization and once they have it, play a power game with their lieutenants to ensure loyalty even when aware they likely want their own boss dead. As for how modern Daendroque families maintain themselves, they have relegated their violence largely to the sport known as “Unidos-entre Sí.” When someone challenges another for the family and is sober while doing so, the two men must face off and when one wins, the other needs to drop their title as the patriarch or their claim to said title. Women rarely fight in these matches, instead watching on and rooting for their men. Behind the scenes, women in families are often a powerful force in saving their man from harsh punishments after losing. They are often known for their passionate voices in defense of their husband. This same passion is an ideal through female interactions with others.
Daendroque culture is largely patriarchal, with an emphasis placed on the man and the male lineage of a family since they are generally the more successful of the two sexes in finding jobs. Men are largely involved in the financial sector, the military, and the workplace as a whole but women do hold some power. They are the respected masters of the household and the keeper of their children as, while odd and distasteful to other cultures such as the New Regalians, it is traditional for a man seeking to marry or court a daughter to speak to the mother first within her domain. Women also control the hiring of servants in a wealthy household and rarely consult with their husbands. These aspects give them the stereotype of being controlling, which is not an unfair assessment. As for the larger relationship between women and men, it is a complex one in Daendroque society and varies mainly based on region. In principle, many rely on a small list of expectations as to what the other needs to do for them. For example, a fisherman’s wife might expect him to tell her when he’s going out and of how much fish he seeks to catch while he might expect a warm meal and a bed waiting for him to fall into when he gets back home. Should he fail to bring home the amount of fish he planned, it is therefore perfectly reasonable for his wife to chastise him and critique his failing while the inverse is also true if she doesn’t have warm soup ready.
The Daendroque culture has an unjust reputation for laziness, mostly taken from the almost bi-weekly celebrations which occur across the many cities and towns of the regions occupied by Daendroque Ailor. In many cases, these celebrations are affairs such as a birthday or a wedding anniversary that many would consider simple but that the Daendroque take to celebrating with great gusto. However, they do possess two set, culture-wide holidays. The first is the “Descanso de Fin de Mes” or “End of Month Rest.” This practice has murky origins, with some claiming it comes from one particular Elven prince who allowed all his slaves to rest for two days at the end of the month in thanks for some great act done by their ancestors. However today, most Regalians view the story as a fabrication meant to cover up the Daendroque desire to not work. On these two days, many businesses are outright closed with only a few very essential services remaining open. A two-day long fiesta of fun, food, drinking, singing, and dancing then occurs before ending at exactly midnight of the second day.
Another form of celebration is the “Semana de Libertad” or “Week of Freedom.” These celebrations are lively but also focus on the elderly and are a time for everyone to remember their day of liberation, both as a people and as individuals. For some, this is literal as it is the most common time for slaves to be freed by Daendroque owners while for others it is more metaphorical, such as a woman remembering the first time she ever got drunk and let loose a bit. This celebration is commonly held on the first week of March, which is the supposed period that most Ailor slaves of the Elven Empire rose in revolt and freed themselves. The festival is also a time of great anti-Nelfin and anti-Half-Elf sentiment, with many staying inside or taking work at those few essential businesses that must remain open.
Daendroque religion is a very tricky subject as for much of their history, they have been classified as godless and atheists. This assessment, while broad, is mostly true. In the early years of Daendroque culture, centuries of crying out to silent gods for aid or help from the Old Faiths disheartened many. They taught limited knowledge of these deities to their children and those children taught their own children even more diluted ideas of the various gods. When the Cataclysm hit, and the slaves rose up, many saw it as their own personal action and that whatever gods existed (if any at all) were no longer interested in them. This is ironically a similar ideology the Qadir, a race who had influenced the early Daendroque people, would come to two centuries later after their own great race-altering moment. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, some saw the disaster of the Cataclysm as the final deliverance from the sin and horrible acts which had clearly allowed their ancestors to be enslaved. Thus, in 50 AC as Daendroque cities rose, the urban environments were bastions of non-believers while many rural areas followed altered versions of the Oldt Fayth or Old Gods religions. Specifically, sailor culture heavily derived ideas and mythology from Oldt Fayth beliefs of aspects of the sea personified. There was never discord between these two groups in the early years, after all, they had all escaped together and needed to unite against such malicious powers like the Elves so that they would never be retaken. Some theologians suspect there might have been issues in the future if it were not for the arrival of Unionism that came with Regalian economic ties.
Unionism has had a complicated history with the Daendroque people ever since. On the one hand, the church is essential to many as they help administer social services and aid to the large numbers of poorer Daendroque Ailor, as well as helping deal with the dead and assist in recordkeeping activities for the state (primarily in birth and name records). They also help maintain ideas of community, which can be easily seen as the large churches built in rural areas can pack an entire village into them at least once a week for prayers and sermons. On the other hand, however, the Daendroque church is one frequently faced with charges of corruption and collaboration with unsavory elements. In recent years, it has also shown difficulty in helping the Regalian Empire rule their Daendroque subjects. Unionism today is more open and accepting of both religion and other races which rubs against traditional Daendroque ideals of a pure Ailor existence the wrong way. In addition, the ideas of an individual's skill, power, and ability being a result of the Spirit are not popular or readily accepted outside of the upper class. The other issue with Unionism is that many see it as a Regalian creation and the religion of a large, authoritative body. A final problem with the Unionist faith is the highly sensual and romantic inclination of Daendroque culture. The chaste ideals of Unionism, such as no sex before marriage and remaining a virgin until such time, is out of touch with Daendroque ideals that experience with love and affection before marriage is perfectly reasonable, even desirable. All of these details mean that much of the Daendroque population is Unionist, but often only following the central ideas or those aspects they enjoy about the faith while minor enclaves of the Old Faiths lay in the rural regions or lower class.
Literature and Folklore
Daendroque literature is limited, with most of their writings having been destroyed in past conflicts. However, it does benefit from mass production thanks to the great printing centers of Daenshore which can churn out literature at a rate almost equal that to Regalia. Most of this literature is based on their politics and philosophy, but some are tellings of their local folklore. Their literature also includes extensive works of beautiful poetry called Daen Dances by outsiders since they are frequently used in music and are often highly romantic. Literally translated into Common, these odes to love are often rather clunky, so they have long retained their Daendroquin script.
Daendroque philosophy is often called crude, crass or Jacobin, though many will viciously refute the last description as untrue. This is indeed correct, as while the Daendroque have shades and versions of Jacobin ideals in their society (less/fewer taxes and religious freedom) they are not born from the same origin point. In fact, in direct fightback to Jacobin ideas, many Daendroque citizens approve of segregation, racial inequality, a large scale navy, and religious inequality by outright rejecting the Faith of Estel as equal to Unionist or the Old Faiths. They do share another general trait with the Jacobins, but for them, it means something completely different. For the Daens, liberty is key to living, especially personal liberty. To be enslaved by another against your will is a terrible life and one that deserves to be met with revolution. This is derived from the Ailor actions that freed themselves from the Elven Empire but over time, has taken on very metaphorical meaning for many. An oppressive boss at work might force you to work overtime with little pay, and he might be seen as your enslaver. Your local government might be corrupt and pushing for stupid things that don’t benefit anyone and create community suffering, and they might be seen as your enslaver. The metaphors can go all the way up to the Regalian Empire, at which point the most radical Daendroque citizens emerge.
However, most of the time this rebellious attitude is directed at Regalian acts of intrusion into their lives, and much of the Daendroque nobility is safe from it as they are landowners, job providers and have credibility in that they often keep Elven slaves. The nobility itself is also mostly void of this obsession with freedom and personal liberty, however they usually pay lip service to these ideals when dealing with other Daens. As a result, one of the most common ways to “fight back” against an oppressor is through illicit activity, especially against an Empire like Regalia which has been pushing itself on Daendroque sovereignty for nearly a century. This is primarily where the Daendroque criminal culture derives itself from, believing they are still fighting the good fight that began three centuries ago against the Elven Empire. The Daendroque are not inherently “evil” as some Regalians view them, though due to hard lives and the constant presence of at least small-scale crime in even the most rural town, it is an enticing career path for those who want to take the risk.
The other major trait of Daendroque philosophy is the benefits and ideals of a healthy sex life. These ideas are derived, ironically, from the Elves and their hedonism to which the Daendroque were party to on occasion while they were enslaved to them. However, it also came about as an extension of their ideals of freedom. To be sexually free is highly desired in Daendroque culture, especially youth culture, and the ability to express one’s self through their romantic and sexual desires is not seen as obscene or repulsive (depending on what that desire is though). This ideal is crucial and appears in their clothing and across their many art forms. This philosophy is also open to other sexualities, which is another reason the Regalians dislike it as in Daendroque society it is not a sin or shameful for men to love men or women to love women. However, with time and religious pressure from Unionism, such people are often pushed to be bisexual, meaning those who love the same sex often keep it quiet and rarely flaunt it (except in private spaces). The Regalian Empire and some other cultures such as the New Regalians see this all as unbridled hedonism, merely an extension of Elven ideals and part of destructive practices that make the Daendroque people so degenerate. The Daendroque nobility is less sexual in how they present themselves but still retain ideas of carnal passion and love through the arts.
Daendroque folklore is unbelievably rich, drawing from a superstitious maritime background and ancient history with the Elven people who had many tales in ancient times of marvelous beasts or beings. They also speak of twisted, Ailorized versions of creatures from Naylar, Varran, and Qadir culture. In the realm of maritime culture, they speak of a number of creatures. Some are now known to be real, such as the Kelp and the Deep Sea Serpent but others are less so, such as the “Hada de la Estrella”, which are small, luminescent, delicate beings who emerge from island foliage at night to dance beneath the stars, or “Mujeres con Espuma” which are creatures similar to the Kelp but are instead beings who are formed out of foam and live among the huge clusters of foam that wash up on shore. As for land mythology, almost all of the animals and creatures spoken of by the Daen people are real. From Yanar to Hoton Longfeathers to Spring Boks, many exotic, strange or large creatures live on the continent of Daen. Daendroque folklore exaggerates certain features or fabricates facts about these creatures, such as the Daendroque belief that Yanar can grow to large tree sizes and fight against intrusions into their territory (something most believe is an amalgamation of Nenya Trees and Yanar).
Daendroque art is a fascinating aspect of their culture as it is a blend of ancient, tried and true techniques while also possessing bold and experimental ideas. Painting in Daendroque has two radically different styles. The first is a more traditional style in line with common concepts of painting, known as the Añejo style. Here, women and men or often portrayed fully dressed in their finest clothing with plantlife in or around them. Many also feature the family pet. These images are relaxed and calm with all members looking outward toward the viewer. Even war portraits feature men in tents behind the lines or standing alone, the battle far in the background. This style is most common in upper-class artwork as it also features extreme levels of detail. The other style is called Locuradical and finds its cornerstone in experimentation. Many art substyles have formed from this group such as cubism and surrealism with those not originating in Daendroque culture, such as impressionism, also finding a place under this style. Abstract figures in the nude, impressionistic ethereal plant-filled or ruin-dotted landscapes and assemblages of squares looking like soldiers smoking while leaned against a wall all mark the freedom of Daendroque artwork. These works are bold, strange and often disliked by foreigners.
Daendroque statuary is also divided along these two styles. Añejo statuary works focus on the young, rarely if ever displaying anyone older than 30 years old. Even if a subject is dead or older, the artist will create an image similar to their past appearance. In these works, nakedness is not a focus but does occur, especially if the work is for natural settings such as gardens. All other times, the work on the clothing is beautiful and for those pieces commissioned by the nobility, often inlaid with precious materials. Locuradical statues are rare but do exist and can be extremely odd, twisted random formations of metal or strange arrangements of carved stones meant to represent emotions or complex, abstract ideas. They are rarely seen in public because of this, relegated to private collections or areas of limited viewing. Another area of the arts well associated with the Daendroque people is their magnificent and beautiful carvings. These works are highly detailed, intricate and often heavily based on local traditions and stories. For example, a jewelry box from Daenshore might tell the tale of the famed writer and love poet Nicolás Noguera in four images on each side of the box with iconography of his favorite bird, the Sea Pidaleer and other nautical theming to match, all done because the commissioner was a musician. Daendroque carvings also make their way into elegant wall art and the wooden window coverings for many buildings.
A final aspect of Daendroque artwork is their tattoos. They are characterized by waving lines to represent fields or water intermixed with highly detailed imagery of creatures from Daendroc or Daen as a whole. Historically, they are a mix of Ceardian and Elven styles, which makes sense considering the culture’s background. Tattoos of this style are always made using dark blue ink. A rarer variation is known as Tindarr, which makes use of patterns of circles and triangles running the length of one’s arm. This style often uses black ink.
Daendroque music is rich and vibrant, filled with instruments and well-known works of music. The most popular instrument is the guitar, which appears in popular youth culture as THE instrument to woo your lady love. Another popular instrument is the “Tres Tubería” or three-hole flute. As for the music itself, it is often very natural and flowing with an uneven cadence befitting free and unrestrained music. As for songs themselves, many are well-known love ballads such as “You and I Under the Ancient Sea,” “My Heart for Yours” and the racy “Your Touch.” Others are odes to the beauty of Daen personified as a woman or the wondrous dangers of the sea.
Daendroque fashion is often an extension of their belief in romance and beauty in freedom. True to form, many of their clothing styles follow these ideals with exposed skin or revealing aspects to the outfit. Their most distinct clothing comes from the upper class, even if some of it does not follow the same revealing ideology of the lower class clothing. Women here have a wide variety of clothing to choose from, primarily focused around three styles. The Recortar Style emphasizes the female form by exposing various parts of the body such as the upper chest, arms, and legs through cuts in the fabric. This style is common among younger members of the nobility, those women seeking to show off, and commonly appears in entertainment houses. The other two styles are more chaste. The first is the Enjoyado style which features a simple dress overlaid with two pieces of fabric. The loftier one covers the upper chest while the second is secured around the waist and is cut at the bottom in a style similar to Recortar. The dress also has a number of small metal baubles or jewels hanging from it, along with the same material used in two upper armbands as well as wristbands which help hold a long shawl that wraps around the back which can be drawn in closer to the body should a breeze crop up. The final style is known as Mudar, for those Daendroque nobles more closely tied to Regalia. It features a very Regalian styled dress, with poofy upper sleeves and a poofy dress with a lace edge once it hits the floor. The dress primarily shows its Daendroque features in the details, with a thinner shawl design secured around or near the elbows as well as tucked into the dress’s middle before trailing down near the floor with its one free, fully visible end. Women’s jewelry also accentuates this as pinched broaches often depict Daendroque symbolism such as the rose, or wild twisting plants pinned on the front of the dress. The dress also often features wrist bangles reminiscent of the bands seen on the Enjoyado style. The style also sometimes features a lace headcovering called a mantilla to be placed on the head for special events. As for male upper-class fashion, it is often simply high class or expensive versions of the clothing worn by males in lower classes. All often appear in warm inviting tones, though the Mudar style almost exclusively features a red dress as the centerpiece.
Lower-class Daendroque female fashion is often a simpler or cheaper reflection of upper-class fashion, though, does feature the ruffled dancing outfit known as a Mooano dress. It is exclusively used for dancing and takes its name from the land bird of the same name, as similar to that creature, the dress is all about movement and energy. They are often thin with a high capacity for mobility and sport multiple ruffled areas such as along the arms. They are also very colorful, with many bright tones in the fabric. Male commoner clothing has two main styles. The first is the Duttino style, defined by a long trench coat known as a "Fermiestar" with free, sleeveless arms, along with an overhanging cloth belt called a "Gaudittana." It is a long circular cloth band that is wrapped around the chest and waist of the male in various positions. First, it is draped around the neck, then diagonally across the chest and then around the waist again. This cloth is often pinned with military decorations and family symbols if the person has any, or is of the upper class. The final feature is the "Vaisagistarma," a very tight fitting cloth suit that stretches from the neck to the shoulders and down to the feet. The upper-class versions of Duttino outfits commonly don't wear boots or shoes, they have inlaid soles in their Vaisagistarma which provides cushioning while walking, while still elegantly exposing and accentuating the legs of the wearer. They often appear in yellow, brown and orange tones. The final aspect of male clothing is the one most commonly known in Daendroque fashion: the vest. Sailors, workers, mercenaries, and a number of other groups often can be seen wearing the simple vest along with a variety of different pants, most ending on the lower leg or near the ankle. These vests greatly vary in style depending on the class of a wearer and exist to help show off a man’s physicality as it exposes his arms and sometimes his chest to anyone who wants to take a look.
The final aspect of Daendroque fashion as a whole is self-decoration. In Daendroque culture, jewelry is significant for both men and women. Often, as part of their path to maturity or as a result of them being declared an adult, they get their ears pierced. In men, this presents itself as studs or bands along the lobe while in women, attention is drawn to the fact they are pierced and now a woman by large, often circular creations. As for hair decoration, females often do it by lacing flowers or featuring a hairpiece in their locks in attempts to accentuate their beauty and grace. Finally, tattoos are also important in Daendroque culture and serve a similar purpose as hair ornamentation but for men, with tattoos commonly appearing along the arms since that is most likely where they will appear.
Daendroque architecture derives from a fascinating cultural blend, taking the momentous and imposing aspects of Elven culture and combining it with the emphasis on excellent detail from Qadir society to create many wondrous structures. Daendroque architecture is first and foremost known for its river towers, built by the Daendroque people to defend themselves from enemies trying to cross the many rivers which criss-cross their interior. These structures are large and firm, with a large central square tower supported on the corners by four smaller square towers with toothed defenses on the roof capped by trapezoidal stones. The gates and doorways then show off the next feature common in Daendroque design, the ogee arch. The final feature of these river structures is their detailed interiors. Beautiful tiling on the floors in many of them show floral patterns while carved wooden shades sitting in the simple square windows can either flood light in or limit it as desired due to their hinged design allowing them to fold off to one side. The stunning examples of these features are seen in the homes of the wealthy, built much more recently within the past 100 years after the Daendroque nobility emerged. These grand structures are often not as high but feature an organic spread of the facilities within a home. Inside, tall columns reach up to a distant ceiling supporting it with the help of horseshoe arches to allow the hot air to rise up. Open areas inside of the home’s structure make room for gardens, growing local flora to attract the fauna and add a bit of nature to the inside. Capping off these structures, instead of toothed roofs, are tiled roofs that rise up to a triangular prism point.
However, all of these amazing features are lacking in the homes of the lower classes which primarily make do with standard housing. There are some features, such as the folding window screens, but the majority are basic structures. One thing to note about all Daendroque architecture is that it follows or makes use of the local geography in its construction. More than one river fort was built on a natural rock outcropping, and city streets are often messy, a result of ancient planners choosing to let the land lead the routes instead of setting down a proper grid. This also makes commoner housing in the urban regions tight and close together, and many adventurous young children can be seen doing some roof running if they so wish.
Daendroque cuisine is known for its use of spices, primarily ground Dragonflower but also others like jalapeno or paprika. These appear in their spiced meats, alcoholic drinks and a national delicacy known as Nuevo-Uso Empanar, made using any day-old bread and mixing it with various ingredients such as water and spinach. Daendroque cuisine also makes use of the fruit of the sea, from fish to crustaceans to sea cucumbers, there are numerous dishes that help to show off this generous bounty reeled in daily from the fresh and saltwater regions of Daendroc. On the opposite side of being known for spicy cuisine, the Daendroque are also known to possess some good cold foods too. Developed over time as a contrast to the hot climate they enjoy and the hot foods they eat, cold dishes such as Sótano Soup are commonly available during the summer time.
Daendroque sports are often high testosterone, male-only events where combats of speed and strength take place. The most common is “Unidos-entre Sí” or “Linked Together.” This combat is usually performed by young family relatives or groups of young men as fight training but is also employed on the day they attempt to take their family over from a sibling, relative or their aging father. One hand of each participant is tied to the other’s while in the other hand, a weapon is placed. In more innocent situations or where one participant is older, these are often blunted or padded blades of wood or cheap metal. In more serious situations like crime groups, they are often sharp and unaltered daggers. The two men must then fight until victory, either with a pin to the floor, a blade up against the neck or in the more serious situations, one party becomes a corpse. The skills needed are various, and everyone has their own different styles, with some men using raw strength and try to toss their opponents around while others try to be more agile and slippery, attempting to force the other off balance. Other Daendroque sports include horse racing, which is a common occurrence at major events, and a curious game known as “Golpear la Pared” where teams of two to four must try and hit a ball against a wall using rackets while the other team fights back. The sport is very hectic, and most Regalians throw up their hands in confusion at the point system and odd court structure.
Daendroque leisure time is varied across the classes and times of the year. For the nobility and upper class, it is common as they sit on their plantations. Their leisure time is often spent involving themselves in politics and local intrigue, ensuring that they remain on top of whatever is going on around them. As such, Daendroque nobles have the reputation as gossips, though they learn such skills so as to keep an eye on their subjects closely but in a more relaxed setting. As for the lower classes, the Daendroque people celebrate many holidays and festivities and it is often at these events that the wider grouping of the Daendroque people get their leisure time. Dancing, singing, and drinking are common here, as are romantic encounters.
Daendroque culture has many symbols, having been a long-lasting culture on one of the longest populated continents. Classically, the simple rose has been a symbol for the Daen people, commonly appearing in their art and decoration. As an extension of this, thorns and wild jungle growth is sometimes attached to these flowers as a demonstration of the beauty yet also the danger of Daendroque society. Several animals are also tied to Daendroque society, such as the Great Jungle Cat and Southern Longwings (though the second often carries negative connotations). Another potent symbol for the Daendroque people, while also being hugely ironic, is the icon of a shattered chain or broken restraints to represent their fight for freedom from the Elven Empire. It is ironic, of course, because they themselves keep a number of Half Race and Nelfin slaves.
- Daendroque men and women are commonly called the world’s best lovers, with Ithanian women helping to push this idea into Regalian society. The image has been tarnished in recent years due to the many upheavals in the Daendroque states and the opinion of House Kade that the Daendroque are rebellious scum.
- While not actively known, the Slizzar gave the Daendroque people some ideas which would later contribute to their basis for criminal activity and inter-family competition. When the Essa Empire fell after the Chrysant War, many Slizzar found refuge in Daendroque gangs, and this could be seen as a seed planted millennia ago bearing fruit for them in their darkest hour.
- House Anahera still survives despite the actions of their brief patriarch. While they did keep quiet and out of the way for a number of years, they have slowly crawled back to relevance in the south of the Regalian Archipelago and can now draw once more from vast foreign resources back in their ancient homeland.