Difference between revisions of "Ithanian"

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{{Info culture
 
{{Info culture
 
|image = IthanianWoman1.png
 
|image = IthanianWoman1.png
|pronunciation = Ith-ahn-nee-an
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|pronunciation = ee-thane-ee-yan
|commonnames = Itties, Man-haters, Boy-lovers, Dogshit-noses
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|commonnames = Itties, Court-fanatics, Menmancers
 
|classification = [[Fineclass Culture]]
 
|classification = [[Fineclass Culture]]
 
|origins = [[Ithania]]
 
|origins = [[Ithania]]
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|majorcities = [[La Porte Du Paradis]], Bijoux-Plus-Rême, Ancellois, Saint-Gervindres, Saint-Agellèmes, Prive-Dusois, Mont Selparchain de Puvière
 
|majorcities = [[La Porte Du Paradis]], Bijoux-Plus-Rême, Ancellois, Saint-Gervindres, Saint-Agellèmes, Prive-Dusois, Mont Selparchain de Puvière
 
|}}
 
|}}
By far the [[Culture]] with the most political affluence among the [[Ailor]] people, the Ithanian Culture is a highly-developed court society originating from [[Ithania]] which has since spread out across [[Aloria]], especially taking root in the [[Regalian Archipelago]]. The Ithanian Culture long influenced the court style of nearly all other Cultures, and despite recent reductions in their power, continues to be a major trend-setter in the world’s high fashion, cuisine, art, and lifestyle. It is strongly opposed by the [[New Regalians]], and is often snubbed as excessive and merely seeking to cause shock and offense for the sake of it. However, these aspects of their society have much deeper roots than many would assume at first glance. Their society is a rough continuation of the [[Allorn Empire]] of old, complete with the decadence and focus on women in leadership that characterized that civilization, but also with their own innovations and developments. For example, rather than decadence strictly being a sign of wealth, it is also thought to be an expression of their desire to be able to live as freely as they could. Still, the struggle between Ithanians and New Regalians has been long, but recent world events are making it more and more likely that this Culture is on the tip of a revolution.  
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By far the [[Culture]] with the most political affluence among the [[Ailor]] people, the Ithanian Culture is a highly-developed court society originating from [[Ithania]] which has since spread out across [[Aloria]], especially taking root in the [[Regalian Archipelago]]. The Ithanian Culture long influenced the court style of nearly all other Ailor Cultures, and despite recent reductions in their power, continues to be a major trendsetter in the world’s high fashion, cuisine, art, and lifestyle, much to the chagrin of others. It is strongly opposed by the [[New Regalians]], and is often snubbed as excessive and merely seeking to cause shock and offense for the sake of it. However, these aspects of their society have much deeper roots than many would assume at first glance, and is only the tip of the iceberg of an immensely complex Culture. The most core aspect of Ithanian Culture is their heavy reliance on female preference, a direct opposition to the New Regalian male preference, and all cultural tendencies that flow out of that preference. Other aspects of this Culture are a radical support for the freedom of speech, public debate and discourse, a fervent support of non-confrontation and non-violence, and a high emphasis on economic development, usually at the expense of the poor and the downtrodden.  
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
The Ithanian Culture was first born approximately five decades before the [[Cataclysm]] in Ithania. The [[Altalar]] representatives of the [[Allorn Empire]], in their isolation from the distant southern capital of [[Alar Talea]], were some of the first to go dark and leave the Empire. They did this largely out of a desire to handle their own affairs, and in their society, a revolution of class was taking hold. Ailor slaves in the region had proven time and time again, at least in Altalar eyes, to be loyal, true, and dedicated servants of the Altalar people, and as a reward should be freed to live as equals next to the Altalar who they so idolized. This took place in many locations across future Ithania, until the Cataclysm occurred. With mass slave revolts breaking out in the south, Altalar nobles grew terrified of Ailor mobs sweeping over their lands. During this, clever Ailor politicians organized [[Le Mars de l’Orchidée]], a series of peaceful marches in major Altalar settlements with the Ailor demanding a peaceful transition of power. When many of the lower and middle-class Altalar joined in the marches after only a week, the upper-class Altalar acquiesced. A new caste of Ailor leadership was enfranchised with control of former Altalar possessions, and so began the rise of the Ithanian Culture. Over the coming centuries, court society flourished across Ithania and many aspects now essential to the Ithanian way of life were set down into law and standard practice. The [[Ithanian Sovereignty]] was born, and through its leadership Ithanians prospered massively on the backs of thousands of peasants. Exploration beyond the shores of Ithania brought them into contact with exotic locations and new lands, though one, in particular, became extremely interested in the Ithanians.  
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The Ithanian Culture was born during the emancipation of Ailor slaves, several decades before the collapse of the Allorn Empire in the region that roughly composes Ithania in the present day. The Ithanian Altalar principalities retained a very conservative (from the perspective of Altalar) outlook, rejecting the Archmages during the earlier periods, and avoiding the worst excesses of Void corruption that had permeated the Allorn Empire everywhere else. The Ithanian Altalar retained a very strong sense of liberty and autonomy, being geographically distant from the heartland of the Allorn Empire, and also protected by a strong geographical boundary through the Ithanian deserts and jungles. In order to bolster their defenses against the ever collapsing Allorn Empire’s chaos, the leading princes and princesses of the Altalar aristocracy decreed that all Ailor slaves were to be released, which at that point already outnumbered the Altalar population of Ithania. A sense of cooperation was established with the Ailor after this emancipation, as they started filling up various roles in civic and military duties, but also rose up to the higher echelons of Ithanian society. Through their mingling with the Altalar, and bringing various Ceardian Ailor customs, the Ithanian Culture was essentially created in emulation of Altalar Culture, but with an Ailor twist.  
  
The Regalian Empire, nearly complete in its conquest of the entire Regalian Archipelago, received a flood of Ithanian migrants to the land which these affluent citizens had purchased with an ancient wealth of a clear Altalar origin. Long turned to the east and north, Regalian interests shifted west and south, discovering the extent of [[Daen]] and its vast resources. Upon learning of Ithania’s high pacifism, they immediately launched plans to absorb the nation into their Empire, which they did with little issue. For some 150 years, Ithanians grew in political power and influence within the Imperial Court, ultimately converting the Imperial Family to their Culture. However, their troubles began shortly after the death of the last [[Ivrae]] Emperor. Under the [[Kades]], it seems a never-ending stream of chaos has gripped the world, with Ithanian life and ways of living threatened a number of times, from rampaging southern Ailor, to ravenous [[Bone Horrors]], to most recently, the army of a patriarchal Ithanian. Florent de Gosselin, a noble long in favor of a more militaristic and traditionally male Ithania, has seized the homeland of his ancestors. The Regalian Empire largely ignoring this entire issue due to newly crowned King Florent renegotiating the contract the Ithanians once had with the Empire. As a result, their vast tax wealth no longer aids the Regalian Empire, but the Empire no longer needs to keep a large army constantly stationed in the heartland to help protect the pacifist Ithanians. As a result of this, Ithanians have been fleeing the homeland, seeking to preserve their “pure and unmolested” Culture in the face of such events. The Ithanians are fortunate to have areas like the [[Fendarfelle Colonies]] and the [[Lordship of Vixhall]] as bastions of traditional Ithanian beliefs, for it seems more and more likely that it is there Ithanian society in its origin form will best survive.
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Ailor and Altalar cooperation protected the Ithanian principalities from the collapse of the Allorn Empire, and by pure luck, the region was relatively unharmed by the [[Wildering]] and [[Cataclysm]], allowing these principalities to remain wealthy and independent. Through the continued slavery of Varran, and the resource wealth of the Ithanian heartlands, the principalities quickly recovered what minimal losses they had sustained, and continued to grow into prosperity as Ailor populations boomed. Around 50 AC, the principalities formally united into the Ithanian sovereign realm, though maintained strong local autonomy even in an elected central authority. While most of the principalities were ruled by Altalar, they would eventually come to be replaced by Ailor and half-Ailor half-Altalar. In modern times, ten of the fourteen principalities are ruled by Ailor, three are ruled by half-Ailor, while only a single principality is still ruled by an Altalar family. The Altalar that lived in Ithania eventually also gravitated towards the Ithanian Culture, meaning that there is a large and noteworthy Altalar minority in the Ithanian cultural hemisphere, and meeting an Ithanian Altalar is not entirely out of the ordinary, especially in Regalia. Eventually, when Ithania had a strong foundation, wealthy families sought other environments and states to expand their wealth into, leading them to Regalia.
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The Regalian Empire, nearly complete in its conquest of the entire Regalian Archipelago, received a flood of Ithanian migrants, in particular towards the southern lands and the heartland regions. The large influx of Ithanian migrants brought court culture to Regalia, and eventually formed the foundation of court politics in major nations like the [[Kingdom of Lusits]], the Regalian Empire itself, and even as far as the old Ceardian Kingdoms. The Regalian Empire eventually eclipsed the Ithanian Sovereignty in wealth, resulting in the Ithanians in Regalia funding and encouraging an invasion of Ithania to unify their distant cultural relatives. While Regalia continues to call it an invasion, the truth is much more complicated. While it is true that Regalia sent an army to Ithania, as soon as the army landed, the principalities and even the Sovereign of Ithania invited them in for the protection of the realm, supported by a large number of bribes from Regalian Ithanians. The event was puffed up as a sign of strength and glory for an Empire that was, at the time, going through major financial difficulties, but came out for the better in the end. Through the reunification of all the Ithanian emigres and homelanders, Regalia gained a substantial tax boost that would eventually encompass forty percent of the Regalian budget, and continues to cover roughly that number to the present day.
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===Current Situation in Ithania===
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In recent times, the last female Ithanian Sovereign of Ithania was executed by the invading king Florent de Gosselin, who was later approved and honored by the Regalian State, making his usurpation of control legal. De Gosselin who is theoretically Ithanian, but more commonly understood to be of [[Imperial Culture]], has attempted to change much of Ithanian strata, however the Culture has remained extremely resilient, and the leading classes refused to change to his designs. As such, it is commonly believed that de Gosselin has already given up on trying to change the Ithanian people to become more Pro-Imperial, and is leaning to appointing his youngest daughter to become the new Ithanian Sovereign, albeit removing the elective crown principle, and establishing inherited royalty in the Ithanian Sovereign on his death in the future. The Ithanians in the Regalian Archipelago however are far less resilient to change, openly embracing Imperial tendencies, seeing much profit to be made by working more closely with the other Cultures and the central state that retains a distinct Imperial appeal. More and more, Ithanians are learning that antagonizing New-Regalians does not substitute a good political doctrine.
  
 
==Language and Dialects==
 
==Language and Dialects==
The Ithanian Language, also known as [[D’Ithanie]], is one of the oldest Ailor tongues in the world. It emerged from [[Middle Altalar]] when recently freed Ailor slaves from before the Cataclysm sought to speak their own Language. To many foreigners, Ithanian sounds complex and excessive with various grammatical constructions that do not exist in any other language, as one would expect having been subtracted from a convoluted Altalar standard. D’Ithanie shares some vocabulary similarities with [[Daendroquin]] and other tongues to have emerged from former Daen slaves, though none are not mutually understandable.  
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The Ithanian Language, also known as [[D’Ithanie]], is one of the oldest Ailor tongues in the world. It emerged from [[Middle Altalar]] when recently freed Ailor slaves from before the Cataclysm sought to speak their own [[Language]]. To many foreigners, Ithanian sounds complex and excessive with various grammatical constructions that do not exist in any other language, as one would expect having been subtracted from a convoluted Altalar standard. D’Ithanie shares some vocabulary similarities with [[Daendroquin]] and other tongues to have emerged from former Daen slaves, though none are mutually understandable. The Ithanians continue to pride themselves in the fact that they (along with [[Bragacao]] and [[Daendroque]]) speak some of the few Languages that did not develop out of the Ceardian, [[Velheim]] or other tribal bases that existed elsewhere in the world, whom they have often dejected as barbarian or savage. 
 
===Naming Customs===
 
===Naming Customs===
Ithanians have both simple yet complicated naming customs. While a simple first and surname are the common trend, women receive additional naming principles. There is no common naming style based on birthplace like for the [[Anglians]], nor is there a common suffix system for the names. While these principles were present in the first century after Cataclysm, they quickly fell out of style when the Ithanian population boomed and they started becoming impractical. A few examples of names below:
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Ithanians have both simple yet complicated naming customs. While a simple first and surname are the common trend for ease of use, Ithanians also enjoy their so called “Nom de Court”, or their Court Name, which is a long construction. A Nom de Court starts with a first name, which for men is often like: Hiber, Jean, Francois, Alucard, Guy, and for women is often like: Ella, Noulaise, Alaîs, Attenaïs, Julienne, Madileine, and so forth. This is then immediately followed by the so-called “Nom de Lune”, meaning Moon Name, as the moon has an important role in Ithanian culture. The Nom de Lune is derived from the month that the Ithanian was born in, followed by the term to describe the phase of the moon, described below:
*Hiber
 
*Ella
 
*Noulaise
 
*Alaîs
 
*Alucard
 
*Guy
 
*Attenaîs
 
*Julienne
 
*Jean
 
*Francois
 
*Madileine
 
*Christine
 
  
Female naming is supplanted by a so-called “Nom de Lune”, or a name of the moon. The moon plays an important role in Ithanian Culture and in many ways, and in some superstitious manner that has seeped into tradition. The Nom de Lune is determined by the month of birth, followed by the stance of the moon that particular night. If the child was born during the day, the first following moon stance would be used to determine the name, though it would be important not to allow the child to be touched by sunlight until the moon would rise. The months are dictated as followed:
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*January is Javienne
*January, Javienne
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*February is Vrière
*February, Vrière
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*March is Marsalle
*March, Marsalle
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*April is Vrillaie
*April, Vrillais
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*May is Ailaise
*May, Ailaise
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*June is Huinousse
*JuneHuinousse
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*July is Huiviesse
*July, Huiviesse
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*August is Aoûte
*August, Aoûte
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*September is Ellaivre
*September, Ellaivre
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*October is Tomaise
*October, Tomaise
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*November is Obraive
*November, Obraive
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*December is Grande
*December, Grande
 
  
The stance of the moon dictates the second part as such:
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*New Moon is Looxois
*New Moon, Looxois
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*Waxing Crescenti is Croissant
*Waxing Crescent, Croissant
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*First Quarter is Terrois
*First Quarter, Terrois
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*Waxing Gibbous is Solarent
*Waxing Gibbous, Solaire
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*Full Moon is Pouvoir
*Full Moon, Pouvoire
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*Waning Gibbous is Illumin
*Waning Gibbous, Illuminée
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*Third Quarter is Regalois
*Third Quarter, Regalois
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*Waning Crescent is Troissant
*Waning Crescent, Troissant
 
  
If the previous system would be followed for Francaise du Gibbon born in March under a Waxing Crescent, her name in full would be Francaise Marsalle Croissant du Gibbon. Another example would be Madileine de Perxitrous born in November under a Waning Gibbous, which would be Madileine Obraive Illuminée de Perxitrous. Additionally, all women would receive a maiden name that is the feminization of their grandfather’s (on their mother’s side) first name, while a so called “Nom de Noblesse” is also added behind the maiden name for Ithanian women born in nobility. The Nom de Noblesse is often an animal name that represents the family crest, but any items in the family crest can also be used. So, for an Ithanian woman called Attenaîse de Mont-Villeirs, who is noble, born in June under the Waning Cresent, whose grandfather is called Francois, her name would be Attenaise Francaise Lyon Huinousse Troissant de Mont-Villeirs. Men have no additional naming principles and have just a first and last name.
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So for example, if an Ithanian male named Guy was born in December under the Full Moon, the name up to this point would be Guy Grande-Pouvoir. Following the Nom de Lune comes the “Nom de Coeur”, which translates to Name of the Heart. The Name of the Heart is chosen by the individual during their coming of age, and it always has to be a word that describes an emotion, item, animal, object or concept that they strong associate with. For example, if this Guy Grande-Pouvoir strongly associated with lions because they were a Lion’s Pelt knight, and they felt that lions would stand for courage, then his name would become Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur. The Nom de Coeur must always be the chosen word or term, followed by the word Coeur. When the Nom de Coeur is complete, a surname is added, that signifies their family membership which for the sake of this example is Montvertu.
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Then, finally, all Ithanians complete their Nom de Court with the “Nom de Noblesse”, or the name of Nobility. The word Nobility is a bit more widespread in Ithania, because the Ithanians consider themselves all to be noble as long as they are Ithanian, and ignoble if they are not. The Nom de Noblesse as such is less an aristocratic distinction held only by those of blue blood, and instead a widespread thing. The Nom de Noblesse must always be written this way: An animal chosen that they associate with or consider their spirit animal, followed by “de” (of), followed by the place they were born. So, for example, if this Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur Montvertu was born in Theloise, and considered a dog his spirit animal, his full name would finally be: Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur Montvertu Cien de Theloise.  
  
 
==Laws==
 
==Laws==
Ithanian Law is unique in that the Ithanian Realm does not have legal symmetry with the Regalian Empire at large. Ithania is subject to a lawbook called Lois-Penal, a set of rules specifically valid for all the land within the boundaries of the Ithanian realm and foreign citizens who are marked as primary citizens of Ithania. These laws are respected by the [[Regalian Judiciary]], meaning an Ithanian judge is always present in [[Regalia]] to perform Ithanian lawsuits on Ithanians. Regalians are capable of suing Ithanians in Ithanian Court, though the reverse is not true, since none of the laws are recognized in Regalia due to their female-centric nature. Aside from the legal and taxation factors of the [[Regalian State]], Regalia is barely seen in the daily lives of Ithanians in native Ithania, being but a distant thing they are all part of. In many ways, Ithanians have the same independent mindset from the Regalian Empire that the [[Daendroque]] city-states have, though have a far more passive and compliant one.  
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Ithanian Law also called Lois-Penal, is the only real legal code existing outside of the Regalian judiciary that is comparable to the complexity of [[Regalian Law]]. While Lois-Penal was originally very different from the Regalian Law code, over the last few decades, Regalian laws have progressively been overwriting the laws of Lois-Penal. Lois-Penal can be requested in Regalia, as it is protected by the Ithanian citizenship laws. When an Ithanian citizen breaks Regalian Law, an Ithanian law book must always be present during their court trial. If during the court trial is appears that what the Ithanian did wrong does not break any Ithanian laws, the court trial is suspended and the Ithanian declared innocent. This can nowadays only occur due to a small selection of laws, as the Lois-Penal and Regalian Law are effectively the same. The differences between the law penal codes is described below:
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*Any Regalian Law regarding the composition of a marriage, how many partners marry, adultery and the relation between citizenship and legal marriage are null and void in Lois-Penal. Ithanians are not legally punished for polygamy, polyandry, adultery and are not limited in who or where they can marry.
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*Any Regalian Law regarding freedom of speech, insult or ridicule or name-calling are null and void in Lois-Penal. Ithanians are not legally punished ever for insulting or defaming anyone, even if they are noble.  
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*Any Regalian Law regarding violence, attempted murder, battery or assault, are punished twice as hard in Lois-Penal. If found guilty, those judged under Lois-Penal received increased penalties than if they had been judged under Regalian Law.  
  
 
==Lifestyle and Customs==
 
==Lifestyle and Customs==
 
===Families===
 
===Families===
The most contentious opposition other Cultures have towards Ithanian Culture is how it proposes families, and how romantic relationships should be formed. From the premise, it appears that Ithanians enforce a strongly female-dominated relationship where polyandry is encouraged. The male in the relationship is considered barbaric, subject to wild urges they cannot control and of lesser cultural finesse. In every way, the male is delegated to a role of procreation and satisfaction for the women. How this policy came into being is not entirely known, nor do historians have an understanding how men subjected themselves to this kind of rule without revolting at least once, as many of them are degraded into non-consensual same-sex relations within the same household. The reality is that revolts against this sort of domination by the female gender did happen, but they succeeded in a way that one would perhaps not have expected.
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Ithanian families are, simplest put, probably the most complicated family affair of any Ailor Culture. At its very base, Ithanian families are steeped in polyandry, though largely only in the upper echelons of their society, as commoners usually don’t have any time to be entertaining additional marital relations, though they do occur. In Ithanian Culture, polygamy is considered a great evil and repressive towards women, while polyandry is considered a fair and just way of binding multiple partners together. Ithanian families are deeply matriarchal and ‘ownership’ of a family passes down from grandmother to granddaughter, with the grandmother usually choosing the granddaughter to mass matriarchy onto, not necessarily the oldest born child of the oldest born daughter. Women marry their first husband, called the Homme de Coeur, whose job it is to be a loving and caring husband for his wife. This husband is primarily tasked with attentiveness but also caring to the emotional needs of the other husbands. The second husband, called the Homme des Bras, is the husband primarily tasked with the physical protection of all members of the family, including the wife, but also all other husbands of the wife. While the Homme de Coeur is usually a more beautiful husband, the Homme des Bras is usually a stronger and most imposing husband. Then finally, the third husband is the Homme des Oiseaux, who is primarily tasked with the management of the household, as well as information gathering and financial management. This results in a 4 person marriage where each member has a strict role, whether it be leadership, caring, protection, or administration. It is permitted for the woman to sire children from all husbands, but only daughters sired from the Homme de Coeur can become new matriarchs in further generations. When an Ithanian woman only marries a single man (which is uncommon, but does happen), this man is called Homme d’Unité, who has to fulfill all tasks. Most Ithanians take pity on Homme d’Unité, as they believe life is much better lived with the burdens of domestic relations spread out over multiple members. Leadership however must always reside in the woman. Additionally, once a Homme des Bras or Homme de Coeur has died, they cannot be replaced. While Ithanian Culture is polyandrist, it is also extremely devoted, and does not re-marry or divorce like Velheim or Ceardians do, and find the very concept of divorce despicable. Loveless marriages do exist, as arranged marriages also occur in Ithanian Culture.  
  
Traditionally, a woman in Ithanian Culture may choose any man to be her consort (exceptions are made for foreigners, and this practice is only legal in the land of Ithania). While all Consorts enter the tradition of marriage, Ithanians do not marry before the Unionist Church (though some in Regalia do), and usually women who marry have two or three men per marriage concluded in the same ceremony. Women maintain a favorite, the so-called Consort Favorit, and use a variety of attempted court scheming to play the men off against each other. While this once worked and certainly still does in some cases, women have recently discovered that their attempts no longer work like they used to. Through the centuries, there have been numerous attempts from men to eject themselves from the Ithanian cultural norms, largely inspired by the patriarchy-dominated Cultures in Regalia after Ithania’s subjugation to the global Empire. In doing so, however, instead of throwing off the shackles of domination by the female gender, the men discovered that their upbringing and lot in life had afforded them that no other men in other Cultures possessed, the concept of the Esprit d’Homme. This Espirit d’Homme became a prevalent concept in the first half of the 3rd century AC, and has been with the Ithanian men ever since, setting them truly apart from men in other Cultures. In many ways, the Espirit d’Homme is one of the many hidden jewels of the Ithanian Culture that is often just overlooked, or ignored while critics and outsiders target the more extravagant and decadent expressions of the Culture.
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Ithanians also tend to live in multigenerational households, usually three generations living in the same house, but on different levels. The grandparent generation usually lives on the ground floor, while the middle generation lives on the second floor, and the youngest generation on the highest floor. The idea is that in order to reach the younger generations, one has to pass through the older generations and additional layers of protection to reach to where one wants to go. Parents are rarely involved in the raising of their own children, this is usually given to the grandparents, specifically the grandmother and the Homme de Coeur grandfather. Grandchildren call their grandmother Sucré-Mère, or Sugar-Mother, and consider both their biological mother and their biological grandmother their mothers, though only ever acknowledge their biological father as their father, and their mother’s other husbands “uncles”. That being said, they do not consider their half-siblings not full-blooded relatives. As long as they belong to the same mother, all siblings are considered full-blooded. Ithanian families matriarchal training begins with sisters to brothers. Brothers are never permitted to choose who they wish to marry or court, rather, this is decided upon by the sister, even if she is not the matriarch. Same-sex relations in Ithanian families are a somewhat controversial topic. Female same-sex relations simply do not exist in the legal sense. A woman and another woman cannot be married. A woman can however take an extramarital lover (since adultery is not illegal in Ithanian law), called the Femme de Coeur. A woman having multiple female lovers however is strictly forbidden and taboo, and the idea that they must marry a man at some point remains true even if they are strictly same-sex oriented, because women in Ithanian culture have a duty to lead men. Same-sex relations among men are equally dubious. It is often encouraged of a Homme de Coeur to have more than friendly relations with the Homme des Bras and Homme des Oiseaux, though this only rarely actually happens. Married men are permitted to have male lovers to some degree, even numerous ones, but they may never be permitted inside the house or to be seen by the wife. Same-sex men in Ithanian society simply never marry, which Ithanians consider acceptable. An Ithanian man who never married and loves other men is said to have “Espirit d’Homme”, which as a concept allows them to live without needing the guidance and leadership of women.  
 
===Gender Roles===
 
===Gender Roles===
Ithanian gender divisions are extreme and absolute. There is no violation or deviation possible (though there may have been some circumstances where the regulations were bent a bit). Women rule and fulfill all the various bureaucratic positions. Men are the military, craftsmen, and physical laborers. There has never been and likely never will be a deviation. [[Varran]] are used exclusively as slaves for the lower-end jobs and positions that are considered too dirty or low for [[Humans]] to perform. The inclusion of Varran as first rank citizens in the Regalian Empire has had no effect on the slavery of Varran in Ithania. In fact, the Grand Sovereign of Ithania negotiated a deal (still upheld by King Florent) that any Varran in Ithania remains a slave-worthy creature and does not have first citizen rights within the borders of the Ithanian realm.
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Ithanian gender divisions are extreme and absolute. There is no violation or deviation possible (though there may have been some circumstances where the regulations were bent a bit). Women rule and fulfill all the various leadership positions. Men are the military, craftsmen, and physical laborers as well as the bureaucrats, managers, and caretakers. [[Varran]] are used exclusively as slaves for the lower-end jobs and positions that are considered too dirty or low for [[Humans]] to perform. The inclusion of Varran as first rank citizens in the Regalian Empire has had no effect on the slavery of Varran in Ithania. In fact, the Grand Sovereign of Ithania negotiated a deal (still upheld by King Florent) that any Varran in Ithania remains a slave-worthy creature and does not have first citizen rights within the borders of the Ithanian realm. It is believed that the Espirit de Lune dictates that women are charged and have the responsibility to contain the worst violent and authoritarian excesses inflicted by men in other Cultures by leading for them. Men who have Espirit d’Homme in turn are exempt from this, so it is in fact possible to encounter a man ruling something in Ithania, or managing something, as long as they are exclusively same-sex oriented and unmarried. Far from being de-masculated cuckolds, Ithanian men have a great deal of pride and take satisfaction making their contribution to family life and Ithania as a whole. All of Ithania (except the downtrodden and slaves) generally live in extremely high wealth standards, and as such, Ithanian men are far less prone to what they refer to as toxic masculinity that permeates other Cultures as they try to hold onto archaic male-dominated strength-based structures that have a habit of inflicting death and violence on itself. They generally have a high level of self-awareness and self-esteem due to the very open and involved Ithanian society that prioritizes mental welfare far more than any other Culture or race, allowing them to easily deflect any de-masculating comedy created by those who they believe insist on perpetuating misogynistic principles.  
 
 
===Espirit d'Homme===
 
Espirit d’Homme is, in essence, a sense of community or brotherhood that is unrivaled among all other [[Races]] and Cultures. After decades of benevolent oppression and forced emasculation, as seen by the women’s perspective, the Ithanian men found a sense of liberation from being used as playthings in their loyalty towards each other and their unique brotherhood that allowed them to develop an almost same-sex intimacy with one another and normalize it, while honing their combat skills and concentration at the same time. To other Cultures, these behaviors are considered obscene: to (not sexually) share the same bed at night, to embrace deeply, and to care deeply for one another in a way that men would otherwise only women in other Cultures. It should be important to note that these levels of intimacy aren’t actually homosexual in their nature. The men involved are more often than not simply heterosexual, though the extreme levels of comfort they find themselves in with their own gender is unique among any Culture, and often generalized to be homosexual.
 
 
 
Another large advantage of this Espirit d’Homme is the fact that at all levels, Knightly Ithanians are better fighters than all other men of other Cultures. Some combat theorists have spent their whole life studying this mindset bred by the Ithanian lifestyle of the men, and have concluded that where an Ithanian man is raised in the Ithanian Culture for the first two decades at least and has followed an education such as the [[School of Viridian]] or [[School of Bloodcast]], they perform better in combat than their contemporaries from other races or Cultures. The prevailing theory is that Ithanian men find greater comfort in being around other men, and have spent years fine-tuning their ego and capacity for distraction by outside factors from other men (who more often than not, will be their opponents since women rarely engage in military pursuits). Essentially, the Ithanian man has already spent his entire life competing with other men and also spent a lifetime honing a form of brotherhood in need of protection that allowed them to achieve a higher level of combat concentration, but also desperation in the need to perform.  
 
 
 
These aren't the only factors of the Espirit d’Homme however. Through the centuries, men were encouraged to learn combat schools to defend their women for the sake of keeping the women out of combat. This is typically a highly misunderstood concept about Ithanians; while their Culture is inherently pacifist and they do not believe in the concept of warfare or warriors, nearly their entire male population is militarily capable. It is thus almost comical that the realm with the largest military capable population that could create a huge army, simply doesn’t. Indeed, women in Ithania encourage men to engage in sparring sessions and wrestling to both bond and relieve aggression and tension within the male consorts because they believe that martial combat should purely serve for their personal protection and entertainment. This summarizes the Espirit d’Homme: unrivaled self-control, brotherly loyalty, iron restraint, and combat prowess which could ironically outcompete New Regalian military raising, fostered by female oppression. As much as the Espirit is useful for Ithanians, it should be mentioned that the Espirit d’Homme is entirely ineffective when an Ithanian male faces a woman in battle. As opposed to their controlled and restrained combat against men, they suffer a lack of coordination and calmness against women, being instead beset by a kind of aggressive dejection which often results in them becoming careless in battle.  
 
 
 
On a passing note, it should be mentioned also that Ithanian men view same-sex males with a sense of melancholy. The concept of same-sex relations is not only just normalized to Ithanians to the point of seeing it just as normal as opposite-sex relations, in a way they become envious of men who are capable of harboring romantic or sexual feelings for other men. To Ithanian men, to share a life with a brother in arms or a warrior is seen as a better life than to be subject to the control of women, even though this would lead to a degradation of the Espirit d’Homme, with the female oppression as a crucial element in its creation. Ithanian men are as such positively predisposed to any same-sex individuals they know, and it should also come to no surprise that Ithanian men were also some of the former [[Emperor Cedromar I’s]] most fervent supporters.
 
*'''OOC Note:''' Espirit d’Homme is a concept that can be cited in-character to measure an Ithanian man as more combat competent at the same level than any other Race or Culture (enough to allow them to win when competing against the same level, but not proceed to the next combat level). This is however only applicable to Ithanian Men who were raised in Ithania and lived there for at least 20 years, while also having been a male consort in a polyandrous marriage, and having engaged in (and being capable of) male (non-sexual) intimacy.
 
  
 
==Religion==
 
==Religion==
Ithanians are strong adherents of [[Unionism]]. While the [[Faith of Estel]] was once dominant, and while heresy faiths exist elsewhere in the Empire, Ithania has remained Unionist and converted virtually as soon as the period of [[Regalian]] domination began. This conversion had two reasons. Primarily, they converted because the Unionist faith is central to the idea of the Ithanian liberties, or more specifically, the Ithanian liberties at the expense of the other Races. Unionism as a faith allows for Ailor to abuse or degrade other Races, thus expanding the individual liberties of the faithful at the expense of the non-faithful, who are cast away and worthy of basic rights. This allowed Ithanians to exercise their decadent art on the non-Humans, but also permitted them to be free of guilt while doing so, as the faith of Unionism took the moral burden. Secondarily, Regalia’s dominance forced Unionism on the passive Ithanians who had no military means. As such, alongside the practical benefits of Unionism, Ithanians adopted Unionism to keep themselves stable and alive. Throughout the years following the integration of Ithania into the Regalian Empire, prosperity quickly allowed for the necessity angle to be lost, making way for a devout Culture among the Ithanians.
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Ithanians are strong adherents of [[Unionism]]. While the [[Faith of Estel]] was once dominant, and while heresy faiths exist elsewhere in the Empire, Ithania has remained Unionist and converted virtually as soon as the period of [[Regalian]] domination began. This conversion had two reasons. Primarily, they converted because the Unionist faith is central to the idea of the Ithanian liberties, or more specifically, the Ithanian liberties at the expense of the other Races. Unionism as a faith allows for Ailor to abuse or degrade other Races, thus expanding the individual liberties of the faithful at the expense of the non-faithful, who are cast away and worthy of basic rights. This has allowed Ithanians a guilt-free pass at effectively developing the doctrine of Imperialism, colonizing far away lands both legally and militarily to extract all valuables from the land and locals, while leaving the locals behind in destitute conditions. Indeed, Ithania remains the largest slave-owning realm in the Regalian Empire, as their wealth continues to be built on the work of those in chains.  
  
 
==Literature and Folklore==
 
==Literature and Folklore==
===Literature===
 
Ithanian literature knows two expressions: feminist poetry and feminist theory. Practically every Ithanian writer is female, and every written piece of literature is some form of metaphorical or literal expression of female superiority, inclinations, activities, or how they should be more free elsewhere in the world in order to be themselves. Curiously, there is a lot of exchange of literature between [[Etosil]] and Ithania, where notable [[Etosian]] underground feminist writers are considered the most reputable literary geniuses across Ithania. Notably [[Beyon-Cecily]] and her written pieces such as “You inspire me to be better, now burn all my love letters” are cult icons in Ithania and beyond.
 
 
===Philosophy===
 
===Philosophy===
 
Ithanian Culture knows the so-called Princois Decelles, or Principles of Divine Divinity. These Principles identify the cornerstone of Ithanian society, and why they engage in certain actions and expressions. They are as follows:
 
Ithanian Culture knows the so-called Princois Decelles, or Principles of Divine Divinity. These Principles identify the cornerstone of Ithanian society, and why they engage in certain actions and expressions. They are as follows:
*Princois d’Elvellen: The Elvellen Principle exists to express that the Ithanians consider the Elves ([[Altalar]] only) a remarkably advanced and high Culture people worthy of emulating and integrating into their own society. Their finesse and poise is something worth rivalling and exceeding, but also incorporating.
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*Princois d’Elvellen: The Elvellen Principle exists to express that the Ithanians consider the Elves ([[Altalar]] only) a remarkably advanced and high Culture people worthy of emulating and integrating into their own society. Their finesse and poise is something worth rivalling and exceeding, but also incorporating. This has largely caused Ithanians to frequently side with Altalar over other Ailor-prone issues or business, causing them to sometimes be referred to as race-traitors. The Ithanians believe that the Altalar (particularly Teledden) are a kindred spirit, and as such are more prone to cooperating with them than anyone else.  
*Princois Libresse: The Liberty Principle exists to express that Ithanians believe freedom of expression is the highest right that should be respected and exercised, and that their freedom of decadent expression is the hallmark of their Culture.
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*Princois Libresse: The Liberty Principle exists to express that Ithanians believe freedom of expression is the highest right that should be respected and exercised, and that their freedom of decadent expression is the hallmark of their Culture. Local autonomy, as well as choice of habitation and freedom are immensely important to the Ithanians. It is said that in Ithania and in [[Pays-Sud]] there is no such thing as a serf. Indeed, when comparing Pays Sud with [[Anglia]], one finds that the jobs usually filled by semi-free serfs are instead filled by slaves, and even the poorest of Ithanian commoner is free to choose where they work, when, and how, instead of being locked to the land they were born on due to the debts of their parents to a landlord. Part of this principle is also that Ithanians are progressive, and seek to expand the liberties of their people, as well as others within their society with the exception of slaves. This is why most Ithanians tend to be on the side of progressive change and law reforms.  
*Princois Femesse: The Female Principle exists to express that females are always superior to men, and codifies the need for men to be subjugated under female rule to restrict and save them from their own violent and aggressive inclinations.
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*Princois Duresse: The Peaceful Principle exists to express that warfare has no positive outcome ever and should be avoided at all costs. That being said, Ithanians aren’t strictly defenseless or incapable of going to war, it is just that they use all venues available before agreeing to military matters. When Ithanians go to war, they express that there must be “Beauty in death”, and that if death comes, it must come from the hands of those who decide. What this means in practice, is that Ithanian armies are the only armies in the world that have both women and men in it, but that stratify the roles of both genders. Men must always be the frontline soldiers, who never attack. Ithanian formations are designed around a core of female archers and skirmishers that are led by an all-female general’s camp. The job of the men is to form a strong shield formation to protect the women, and hold off the enemy, while the women whittle down their foe with projectiles. Mages of either gender are also used on the vanguards to ensure stability for the core. Ithanians never advance or go on the offense, and prefer to remain stationary and defensive, even on a battlefield of their choosing. Far from being predictable or outdated, Ithanian battle tactics around defensive formations are the most skilfully executed and well developed defensive doctrines in the world, taught at the military academy for generals in the capital of Ithania (but only to women). Knights exist separately from Ithanian armies, and are just as frequently male as they are female, acting as scouts or frontline commanders during battles. It is a frequently misused conception that Ithania does not have an Army. Ithania does in fact have an army, but rarely actually mobilizes it, as it has a tax arrangement with the Regalian Empire that charges the Empire with protection in exchange for increased payments from Ithania. Ithania also has a highly skilled Royal Guard that is only rivaled by the [[Imperial Guard]] of the Regalian Emperor.  
*Princois Duresse: The Peaceful Principle exists to express that warfare has no positive outcome ever and should be avoided at all costs. Furthermore, to send even a single soldier to war is considered a betrayal to the principle of freedom that Ithanians fight so strongly over. This has caused some issues in recent years, for obvious reasons, but most Ithanians have avoided the latest conflict against King Florent by fleeing abroad.
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*Princois Ancois: The Ancestor Principle exists to express that praise of one’s ancestors is a great virtue, and that ancestors deserve to be included even after death. This usually results in Ithanian estates or houses have numerous ancestral shrines, statues of deceased ancestors that have incense and flowers laid near them on a daily basis. Some Ithanians take it even further by including a statue of their deceased relative at the dining table, but this only tends to happen in the most excessive of households.  
*Princois Ancois: The Ancestor Principle exists to express that praise of one’s ancestors is a great virtue, and that ancestors deserve to be included even after death. This sometimes leads to ludicrous cultural activities like having a servant carry around a wig-wearing and make-up wearing statue of an ancestor at all times. Or dining near a shrine edicifice of an ancestor.
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*Princois Vilois: The Vilification Principle exists to express that Ithanians should expend every financial means possible to themselves (bar from preventing them from committing to the Princois Notoise) to diminish or destroy outside factors that could remove or limit their freedom of expression. It is also considered a good practice to try and enrich oneself, a glorification of capitalist tendencies and imperialist doctrines, usually at the expense of the poor and the slaves. Finances are a measure of a person’s success in Ithanian Culture, and financial success in itself can be used as a means to prove someone’s effectiveness.
*Princois Notoise: The Notice Principle exists to express that Ithanians must express themselves more fervently than everyone else and even each other, to make use fully of the freedoms that fate and moral and cultural superiority have granted them. It is particularly this Principle that causes ithanians to engage in extreme decadence and expressionism, desperate attempts just to be noticed more than others by increasingly lavish displays to outdo all others.  
 
*Princois Vilois: The Villification Principle exists to express that Ithanians should expend every financial means possible to themselves (bar from preventing them from committing to the Princois Notoise) to diminish or destroy outside factors that could remove or limit their freedom of expression.  
 
*Princois Calembaise: The Calemberg Principle exists to state simply one thing: Greater Calemberg, all it stands for and all its people, are the arch nemeses of Ithania. Additionally, [[House Typhonus]] above all is equivalent to the [[Archdemon]] to the Ithanians.
 
  
 
==The Arts==
 
==The Arts==
 
[[File:IthanianWoman2.png|220px|thumb|right|Ithanian jewelry is some of the finest in Aloria.]]
 
[[File:IthanianWoman2.png|220px|thumb|right|Ithanian jewelry is some of the finest in Aloria.]]
 
===Art===
 
===Art===
Ithanian art is extremely similar to [[Imperial]] art in the realm of statuary, given that they both represent glorification of the bodily figure, though Ithanian style instead focuses on thinly shrouding the figure’s body with really thin silks complete with complex folds. Usually, the folds produced by the contours of the body are of higher artistic expression than the whole statue itself. As such, a sculptor will often create strange, unrealistic facial proportions but extremely realistic clothing folds, and still be considered a master sculptor. Additionally, Ithanian art is exclusively aimed at women. Men are purely not depicted because the male physique is considered obscene and ugly in its harsh shapes. Sculptures are additionally (in contrast to [[Leutz-Vixe]] dark stone colors)  made purely out of the whitest of marble. In many ways, whiteness is glorified in Ithania, as tanned skin is seen as something exclusive to the laboring class who have to toil in the sun, but also the “criminal” Daendroque. As for painting, Ithanian works largely retain the visuals of their statuary, presenting the nude or semi-nude body only lightly covered by clothing. A final feature of Ithanian art is their jewelry, well known in Aloria for being some of the most beautiful made by Ailor hands. Often elaborate and made with precious metals, some include exotic features such as feathers and other animal bits to bring that exoicism to the look of the individual wearer. Additionally, female Ithanian jewelry dedicated to headbands or headwear universally seeks to enhance the ears on an individual. Sometimes this is very direct, with large pointed metal pieces set behind the ear, or it can be smaller pieces fanning out around the body part. This is done out of societal respect for the Altalar who birthed the Ithanian Culture, and most commonly represents (much to the disdain of most outsiders) how Ithanians often wish they had pointed ears in reflection of their former masters.
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Ithanian art is extremely similar to [[Imperial]] art in the realm of statuary, given that they both represent glorification of the bodily figure, though Ithanian style instead focuses on thinly shrouding the figure’s body with really thin silks complete with complex folds. Usually, the folds produced by the contours of the body are of higher artistic expression than the whole statue itself. As such, a sculptor will often create strange, unrealistic facial proportions but extremely realistic clothing folds, and still be considered a master sculptor. Surprisingly, Ithanian art is not exclusively aimed at women. Male statues are in fact more frequently seen, as the female attitude towards men is more complicated than just misandrist. While it is true that Ithanian women consider themselves emotionally superior to men, they also glorify and praise the physical superiority of men, and their intellectual capacity. It is more common for households ran by women to have male statues in their household, celebrating the male physique in various physical activities, and praising a standard of beauty set by the household. Statues are almost exclusively made out of the whitest of marble, as the color white is considered pure in Ithanian Culture. They believe dark stone colors are obscene and dirty, and refrain from showcasing anything that includes a tanned skin, as working under the sun to them shows poorness, and poorness does not belong in art. Jewelry is also an expression of art in Ithanian Culture, particularly adopting Altalar jewelry but also designing their own, often in combination with Altalar silks or Sihai silks, embroidered with gold-thread. [[Silver]] is considered a dirty metal in Ithania, and is rarely seen, as Ithanians consider silver a poor people’s metal.  
 
===Music===
 
===Music===
 
Ithanian music is often imported from the [[Dressolini]], as that Culture is considered to have the best musicians. However, it is thanks to the Ithanians that the music theatre genre known as the Opera was born in Aloria. Under Ithanian guidance and desire for decadent and beautiful theatre, Dressolini composers were directed to produce works for the stage, which led to the creation of Opera. While it quickly jumped back to the Regalian Archipelago, Ithanian Culture seized on it and formed their own traditions. Ithanian Opera heavily focuses on the political drama of the story as well as the costuming for all involved. A wholly original form of Ithanian music though is the Chanson, literally translated as “song” in Common, but referring to a genre of epic poetry songs that describe the harrowing early years of Ithanian society as they struggled to commit to pure pacifism. They also focus on the founding of the Ithanian Sovereignty, but both events are largely mythologized in these stories as a way to glorify the ancestors of modern Ithanian aristocrats.  
 
Ithanian music is often imported from the [[Dressolini]], as that Culture is considered to have the best musicians. However, it is thanks to the Ithanians that the music theatre genre known as the Opera was born in Aloria. Under Ithanian guidance and desire for decadent and beautiful theatre, Dressolini composers were directed to produce works for the stage, which led to the creation of Opera. While it quickly jumped back to the Regalian Archipelago, Ithanian Culture seized on it and formed their own traditions. Ithanian Opera heavily focuses on the political drama of the story as well as the costuming for all involved. A wholly original form of Ithanian music though is the Chanson, literally translated as “song” in Common, but referring to a genre of epic poetry songs that describe the harrowing early years of Ithanian society as they struggled to commit to pure pacifism. They also focus on the founding of the Ithanian Sovereignty, but both events are largely mythologized in these stories as a way to glorify the ancestors of modern Ithanian aristocrats.  
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[[File:IthanianFashion1.png|200px|thumb|right|An example of female and male Ithanian fashion. Note the bright colors and draping, silky fabric]]
 
[[File:IthanianFashion1.png|200px|thumb|right|An example of female and male Ithanian fashion. Note the bright colors and draping, silky fabric]]
 
[[File:IthanianFashion2.png|200px|thumb|right|Ithanian fashion largely follows the same core base for female dresses. As can be seen here, just a few adjustments to the outfit renders a very different appearance.]]
 
[[File:IthanianFashion2.png|200px|thumb|right|Ithanian fashion largely follows the same core base for female dresses. As can be seen here, just a few adjustments to the outfit renders a very different appearance.]]
Ithanian fashion is dominated by silk, and it is said that this Culture alone consumes almost half of the Empire’s supply every year. The reason for this is because their fashion sensibilities are dominated by the idea that clothing must elegantly flow in the wind, and that dresses upon shape and accentuate the feminine body. However, on the male form, clothing must be used to hide muscular definition and male square-ness as it is considered obscene and ugly to be visible in public. Additionally, all Ithanian clothing tends to have bright colors, as well as friendly and light colors ranging into pastels. Sashes are frequent, while long flowing or curling hair is usually the norm for both men and women (though men often tie it up in either a man-bun or ponytail).
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Ithanian fashion is strongly dominated by silk, and often even by semi-translucent silks. In fact, their fervor for silk is so great, that they absorb nearly half the Empire’s silk production, and nearly 8 out of every 10 bales of silks arriving as imports from the Sihai lands. For women, modesty is covered, but skin is frequently exposed for the sake of attracting attention and showcasing what the women are proud of. For men, parts of the chest and stomach can be exposed, but arms and legs must always be strictly covered up, whether with silks or with gloves. A man who has peak physical fitness usually gets away with larger and more open pieces of clothing, while men who are overweight are forced to completely cover up including a hat, as their physique is considered too repulsive to public viewing. Ithanians have developed the fashionable clothing piece called the crop top (frequently worn by men), where it merely covers the chest and leaves the stomach exposed. This is normally a piece of clothing worn by commoners (due to the heat of Ithanian deserts and the countryside), however has made its way to the upper classes as a form of casual home dressing that is liberating and expressive, with high accessorization. Additionally, Ithanians must not under any circumstances wear furs or pelts, as these are considered barbarian clothing pieces.  
 
===Architecture===
 
===Architecture===
Ithanian architecture is well known for representing some of the grandest and most complex work in Aloria, blending ancient Altalar design with Ailor materials and labor to produce glorious structures. It is important to note however that much of Ithania is covered in poor or simple peasant housing, in addition to Altalar structures from the era of the Allorn Empire. Many of these are well maintained by both Altalar and Ithanian noble patrons. As for the structures entirely original and representative of Ithanian principles, one must look to the outskirts of major cities and the countryside. There, the Palace exists, occasionally referred to as a Hôtel. This luxury structure is the centerpiece of Ithanian design philosophy and it is also designed to service the extravagant needs of its owners. The structure has many major features, but in general can be described as existing in three parts, with a central hall possessing two grand wings outward and often extending backwards from a grand facade that makes up the front of the building. This facade features columns, multiple windows, and crenulations, as well as a grand front entrance with a short flight of steps required to reach it. In front of the facade is an enormous water feature, usually a pond to a fountain, surrounded by the path in and out of the Palace’s front. Within the structure, huge, vaulted ceilings with wall and ceiling murals displaying scenes of elegant beauty and Ithanian history give a ceremonial grandeur to the space, added to the frequent use of glass or crystal arranged along the walls, with everything gilded in gold. The central hall is where dining room, the ballroom, and all of the important rooms of ceremonial activity are located, in addition to the bedrooms of all the important women staying in the building.
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Ithanian architecture is well known for representing some of the grandest and most complex work in Aloria, blending ancient Altalar design with Ailor materials and labor to produce glorious structures. It is important to note that commoners don’t necessarily live in palaces, but even the low stratas of Ithanian society live in reasonably large houses. The only true downtrodden of Ithanian society live in so-called undercities. These undercities are usually at the bottom end of the Ithanian waterfalls, artificial waterfalls are usually created in Ithanian cities for their beauty, while also creating a distinct undercity where the copious amount of dew and mist of the cascading water obscures view. It is generally said that while everything touched by the sunlight in Ithania is pristine and clean and rich and glorious, everything touched by the dew of the waterfalls where the sun does not reach is a hotbed of crime. Many Ithanians also still live in Altalar structures which remain remarkably well preserved even more than a thousand years of habitation. As for the structures entirely original and representative of Ithanian principles, one must look to the outskirts of major cities and the countryside. There, the Palace exists, occasionally referred to as a Hôtel. This luxury structure is the centerpiece of Ithanian design philosophy and it is also designed to service the extravagant needs of its owners. The structure has many major features, but in general can be described as existing in three parts, with a central hall possessing two grand wings outward and often extending backwards from a grand facade that makes up the front of the building. This facade features columns, multiple windows, and crenulations, as well as a grand front entrance with a short flight of steps required to reach it. In front of the facade is an enormous water feature, usually a pond to a fountain, surrounded by the path in and out of the Palace’s front. Within the structure, huge, vaulted ceilings with wall and ceiling murals displaying scenes of elegant beauty and Ithanian history give a ceremonial grandeur to the space, added to the frequent use of glass or crystal arranged along the walls, with everything gilded in Gold. The central hall is where the dining room, the ballroom, and all of the important rooms of ceremonial activity are located, in addition to the bedrooms of all the important women staying in the building.  
 
 
Traditionally, the two wings located on either side of this sumptuous central structure are divided up in their own purposes and features between men and male servants on the left side while female servants are on the right. The structure’s roof is flat with a terrance and is decorated with balustrades, pilasters, balconies and statues. The tiling on these roofs is often dark blue, green, or black, though time in the elements can wash out these dark colors within but a few years, requiring their replacement. These dark colors compliment the brickwork of the wider Palace, which is often in pale shades, blending marble with complex red/earthen brickwork. Finally, the entire affair is rounded out with an enormous back garden, which often exists between the various extensions on the wings, which are often rectangular blocks that are building facing away from the main facade, and therefore push out into the garden anyway. Such gardens are designed as places of social enjoyment, with plenty of footpaths lacing ways through the beds of flowers and shrubs, but also leading to open spaces where games or sports can be played.
 
 
===Cuisine===
 
===Cuisine===
 
Ithanian cuisine has a strong identity known as Haute Cuisine by the outside world. In many ways, Ithanian cooking is an almost daily full-day consuming business, where members of Ithanian society work all day long to provide abundant ingredients and rich flavors to Ithanian chefs for their creations (for a better example of the various exotic ingredients needed for only one Ithanian dish, look at [[Pix Castellois]]). These chefs are also some of the best paid in the world, and often have recipe books that they guard as feverishly as any holy scripture. Additionally, unlike in most other areas, Ithanian chefs are divided into several categories based on their specific skills and, in the major kitchens of the land’s nobility, are subdivided into their own area of said kitchens where they work to make their specific dishes. In terms of gastronomy, Ithanian cuisine is considered the most excellent in the world. Practically every other Culture and Race has adopted one form of Ithanian cooking technique, making it also the most wide-spread. Ithanian cuisine (aside from using cheese and wine in nearly every dish as a garnish or addition) makes use of all kinds of vegetables, spices, fruits, fish and meats, and eggs, though avoids raw grain products as those are considered crude and barbaric in Ithanian cuisine. Ithanians are also known for their sumptuous desserts, from the [[Eclair]] to the [[Macaron]] to [[Haute Puisse]].
 
Ithanian cuisine has a strong identity known as Haute Cuisine by the outside world. In many ways, Ithanian cooking is an almost daily full-day consuming business, where members of Ithanian society work all day long to provide abundant ingredients and rich flavors to Ithanian chefs for their creations (for a better example of the various exotic ingredients needed for only one Ithanian dish, look at [[Pix Castellois]]). These chefs are also some of the best paid in the world, and often have recipe books that they guard as feverishly as any holy scripture. Additionally, unlike in most other areas, Ithanian chefs are divided into several categories based on their specific skills and, in the major kitchens of the land’s nobility, are subdivided into their own area of said kitchens where they work to make their specific dishes. In terms of gastronomy, Ithanian cuisine is considered the most excellent in the world. Practically every other Culture and Race has adopted one form of Ithanian cooking technique, making it also the most wide-spread. Ithanian cuisine (aside from using cheese and wine in nearly every dish as a garnish or addition) makes use of all kinds of vegetables, spices, fruits, fish and meats, and eggs, though avoids raw grain products as those are considered crude and barbaric in Ithanian cuisine. Ithanians are also known for their sumptuous desserts, from the [[Eclair]] to the [[Macaron]] to [[Haute Puisse]].
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==Recreation==
 
==Recreation==
 
===Sports===
 
===Sports===
Ithanians do not possess many sports, as the natural aggression of such competitions is often shunned in their society. Additionally, not straining yourself in these exercises is also another way to avoid people getting hurt. At the core of this is the Joust, the sport of knights facing each other in one-on-one combat on horseback with lances. This practice is almost as old as knighthood itself, which the Ithanians heavily adopted early on, and is considered by many to be the ultimate expression of Esprit d’Homme. Jousts are most common as entertainment for the upper classes, with Ithanian noblewomen competing with one another through the use of their Consorts or favored knights in the field. The Joust has been exported to other lands, most notably seen among the [[Burdigalans]], but the Ithanians still view themselves as the masters of this sport. In addition to this sport, exported forms of competition such as [[Dressolini Fencing]] and wrestling are also practiced, sometimes alongside the Joust in Grand Tournaments for honor, respect, and fabulous prizes. In contrast to all of these, a sport almost exclusively played by women is tennis. The sport was also invented by the Ithanians, but it holds far more ceremonial importance in their society than the more simplified version exported to regions like Dragenthal. In Ithanian tennis, the court is literally a court, with painted lines on the floor marking out certain are where both players must stand in reflection of the local courtly ideals. For example, both individuals must remain in the ballroom section or suffer penalties. This is thought to teach Ithanian noblewomen the value in assuring they watch the whole court for signs of political weakness.
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Ithanians do not possess many sports, as the natural competitive nature of such competitions is often shunned in their society. That being said, non-competitive sports with singular athletes are hugely popular, especially among the ruling classes. A common practice is “Expression de terre” which roughly translates to an expression of earth (or dirt). What this usually involves is a troupe of Ithanians (either female friends, or sisters) hosting a tea party or some sort of dining soiree in a gazebo or terrace. This gazebo or terrace usually overlooks a courtyard, or some sort of open air field, where an individual sportsman or sportswoman engages in their activities. This is usually for the sake of bodily glorification. For example, a strong man may engage in a variety of athletic activities such as spear-throwing, disk-throwing or lap sprinting while showcasing their physique with minimal clothing for the viewing pleasure of those hosting the party. A woman knight might engage in technique practice, and an archer might have disks thrown into the air to shoot through. The display is never the central focus, but rather a background beauty, like a painting, to decorate one’s social affairs with. In other cases, sports are usually done behind closed doors. Women have rowing machines, while men have weight lifting machines in private rooms just designed for them. Sweat is considered repulsive to Ithanians and must at all times not be smelled or even perceived. Those who are sweating and seen in public, consider this a great humiliation (unless if it is during an Expression de terre, in which case it is actually considered appealing.  
 
===Leisure===
 
===Leisure===
The Ithanians are often known for possessing ample amounts leisure time, thanks to the majority of them being nobles with little real work to do. One of the games most commonly played during downtime, though exclusive to women, is Nine Handmaidens. Each player receives nine playing pieces, and first places them all into a board, before being allowed to move one single space in the area around them. The ultimate goal is to capture the opponent's nine tokens before she captures yours, or to deny the opponent's ability to make a move. Much like tennis, the game is thought to teach political principals to Ithanian noblewomen, and is often called Ithanian Chess due to the similarities between the two games. As for other activities undertaken by Ithanian women during leisure time, they often engage in tea parties, soirees, and card games while men engage in friendly competition, wrestling, reading, and studying away from the female engagements (aside from servants).
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The Ithanians are often known for possessing ample amounts leisure time, thanks to the majority of them being nobles with little real work to do. One of the games most commonly played during downtime, is Nine Handmaidens. Each player receives nine playing pieces, and first places them all into a board, before being allowed to move one single space in the area around them. The ultimate goal is to capture the opponent's nine tokens before she captures yours, or to deny the opponent's ability to make a move. The game is thought to teach political principals to Ithanian noblewomen, and is often called Ithanian Chess due to the similarities between the two games. Another form of leisure for Ithanians is a game called Twice Foretold. The idea is that a group of people sits in a circle at a table, and has 10 coins. Clockwise, each person must think of a rumor or gossip about a person either at the table, or not present at the table. Each person who believes that rumor to be really good or causing them to laugh, gives one coin to the person creating the gossip. When a full rotation of all members at the table has passed, the person with the most amount of coins decides who has lost that round, removing one participant and resetting all the coin counters. Eventually when only two players are left, there is a democratic election among all the losing members who is the winner of the game. Ithanian leisure as such is mostly about mind or card games, especially with elements of deceit or testing one’s vocabulary.
  
==Symbols==
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==Trivia==
Ithania and Ithanian symbolism is usually dominated by sky-colored birds and other sky-related objects such as the moon. This is because Ithanians consider themselves above everything else and as divine in the sky, but also because of the near cult-like attachment that the Ithanians have to the moon.
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*Ithania is the largest consumer of the cheese and wine produced by [[Burdigalan]] lands. The Ithanians developed the so-called charcuterie, a large serving plate with small cheese, meat and fruit bites that is served during public events.
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*Ithania, despite not being present in Regalian state matters on a daily basis, actually has an almost daily impact on the state, whether through the absence of their tax income, or through the acts of their less-known schemers.
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*Ithania has some of the most world-renowned horse riders, particularly the Chevaux de l’Aïr. These horse riders ride winged horses in the sky, charging down at foes from the sky to support defensive formations by flanking those caught in the frontline.  
  
==Trivia==
 
*Ithania suffers frequent revolts from the invisible and unspoken lower classes, though these are harshly crushed by troops brought in from foreign lands to do the fighting of the Ithanian people for them. It is said that exploitation of the lower classes is far worse in Ithania than in Regalia.
 
*Ithania is the largest consumers of the cheese and wine produced by Burdigalan lands.
 
*Since the renegotiation of the deal between the Ithanian Sovereignty and the Regalian Empire, the Regalian Government has repeatedly faced money troubles.
 
 
{{Cultures}}
 
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Revision as of 17:54, 25 October 2020

Ithanian
IthanianWoman1.png
Ithanian
Pronunciation ee-thane-ee-yan
Common Names Itties, Court-fanatics, Menmancers
Classification Fineclass Culture
Origins Ithania
Dominant Race Ailor
Social Classes Artists, Clothiers, Rulers, Philosophers, Bureaucrats, Traders, Jewelers, Nobles
Major Cities La Porte Du Paradis, Bijoux-Plus-Rême, Ancellois, Saint-Gervindres, Saint-Agellèmes, Prive-Dusois, Mont Selparchain de Puvière

By far the Culture with the most political affluence among the Ailor people, the Ithanian Culture is a highly-developed court society originating from Ithania which has since spread out across Aloria, especially taking root in the Regalian Archipelago. The Ithanian Culture long influenced the court style of nearly all other Ailor Cultures, and despite recent reductions in their power, continues to be a major trendsetter in the world’s high fashion, cuisine, art, and lifestyle, much to the chagrin of others. It is strongly opposed by the New Regalians, and is often snubbed as excessive and merely seeking to cause shock and offense for the sake of it. However, these aspects of their society have much deeper roots than many would assume at first glance, and is only the tip of the iceberg of an immensely complex Culture. The most core aspect of Ithanian Culture is their heavy reliance on female preference, a direct opposition to the New Regalian male preference, and all cultural tendencies that flow out of that preference. Other aspects of this Culture are a radical support for the freedom of speech, public debate and discourse, a fervent support of non-confrontation and non-violence, and a high emphasis on economic development, usually at the expense of the poor and the downtrodden.

History

The Ithanian Culture was born during the emancipation of Ailor slaves, several decades before the collapse of the Allorn Empire in the region that roughly composes Ithania in the present day. The Ithanian Altalar principalities retained a very conservative (from the perspective of Altalar) outlook, rejecting the Archmages during the earlier periods, and avoiding the worst excesses of Void corruption that had permeated the Allorn Empire everywhere else. The Ithanian Altalar retained a very strong sense of liberty and autonomy, being geographically distant from the heartland of the Allorn Empire, and also protected by a strong geographical boundary through the Ithanian deserts and jungles. In order to bolster their defenses against the ever collapsing Allorn Empire’s chaos, the leading princes and princesses of the Altalar aristocracy decreed that all Ailor slaves were to be released, which at that point already outnumbered the Altalar population of Ithania. A sense of cooperation was established with the Ailor after this emancipation, as they started filling up various roles in civic and military duties, but also rose up to the higher echelons of Ithanian society. Through their mingling with the Altalar, and bringing various Ceardian Ailor customs, the Ithanian Culture was essentially created in emulation of Altalar Culture, but with an Ailor twist.

Ailor and Altalar cooperation protected the Ithanian principalities from the collapse of the Allorn Empire, and by pure luck, the region was relatively unharmed by the Wildering and Cataclysm, allowing these principalities to remain wealthy and independent. Through the continued slavery of Varran, and the resource wealth of the Ithanian heartlands, the principalities quickly recovered what minimal losses they had sustained, and continued to grow into prosperity as Ailor populations boomed. Around 50 AC, the principalities formally united into the Ithanian sovereign realm, though maintained strong local autonomy even in an elected central authority. While most of the principalities were ruled by Altalar, they would eventually come to be replaced by Ailor and half-Ailor half-Altalar. In modern times, ten of the fourteen principalities are ruled by Ailor, three are ruled by half-Ailor, while only a single principality is still ruled by an Altalar family. The Altalar that lived in Ithania eventually also gravitated towards the Ithanian Culture, meaning that there is a large and noteworthy Altalar minority in the Ithanian cultural hemisphere, and meeting an Ithanian Altalar is not entirely out of the ordinary, especially in Regalia. Eventually, when Ithania had a strong foundation, wealthy families sought other environments and states to expand their wealth into, leading them to Regalia.

The Regalian Empire, nearly complete in its conquest of the entire Regalian Archipelago, received a flood of Ithanian migrants, in particular towards the southern lands and the heartland regions. The large influx of Ithanian migrants brought court culture to Regalia, and eventually formed the foundation of court politics in major nations like the Kingdom of Lusits, the Regalian Empire itself, and even as far as the old Ceardian Kingdoms. The Regalian Empire eventually eclipsed the Ithanian Sovereignty in wealth, resulting in the Ithanians in Regalia funding and encouraging an invasion of Ithania to unify their distant cultural relatives. While Regalia continues to call it an invasion, the truth is much more complicated. While it is true that Regalia sent an army to Ithania, as soon as the army landed, the principalities and even the Sovereign of Ithania invited them in for the protection of the realm, supported by a large number of bribes from Regalian Ithanians. The event was puffed up as a sign of strength and glory for an Empire that was, at the time, going through major financial difficulties, but came out for the better in the end. Through the reunification of all the Ithanian emigres and homelanders, Regalia gained a substantial tax boost that would eventually encompass forty percent of the Regalian budget, and continues to cover roughly that number to the present day.

Current Situation in Ithania

In recent times, the last female Ithanian Sovereign of Ithania was executed by the invading king Florent de Gosselin, who was later approved and honored by the Regalian State, making his usurpation of control legal. De Gosselin who is theoretically Ithanian, but more commonly understood to be of Imperial Culture, has attempted to change much of Ithanian strata, however the Culture has remained extremely resilient, and the leading classes refused to change to his designs. As such, it is commonly believed that de Gosselin has already given up on trying to change the Ithanian people to become more Pro-Imperial, and is leaning to appointing his youngest daughter to become the new Ithanian Sovereign, albeit removing the elective crown principle, and establishing inherited royalty in the Ithanian Sovereign on his death in the future. The Ithanians in the Regalian Archipelago however are far less resilient to change, openly embracing Imperial tendencies, seeing much profit to be made by working more closely with the other Cultures and the central state that retains a distinct Imperial appeal. More and more, Ithanians are learning that antagonizing New-Regalians does not substitute a good political doctrine.

Language and Dialects

The Ithanian Language, also known as D’Ithanie, is one of the oldest Ailor tongues in the world. It emerged from Middle Altalar when recently freed Ailor slaves from before the Cataclysm sought to speak their own Language. To many foreigners, Ithanian sounds complex and excessive with various grammatical constructions that do not exist in any other language, as one would expect having been subtracted from a convoluted Altalar standard. D’Ithanie shares some vocabulary similarities with Daendroquin and other tongues to have emerged from former Daen slaves, though none are mutually understandable. The Ithanians continue to pride themselves in the fact that they (along with Bragacao and Daendroque) speak some of the few Languages that did not develop out of the Ceardian, Velheim or other tribal bases that existed elsewhere in the world, whom they have often dejected as barbarian or savage.

Naming Customs

Ithanians have both simple yet complicated naming customs. While a simple first and surname are the common trend for ease of use, Ithanians also enjoy their so called “Nom de Court”, or their Court Name, which is a long construction. A Nom de Court starts with a first name, which for men is often like: Hiber, Jean, Francois, Alucard, Guy, and for women is often like: Ella, Noulaise, Alaîs, Attenaïs, Julienne, Madileine, and so forth. This is then immediately followed by the so-called “Nom de Lune”, meaning Moon Name, as the moon has an important role in Ithanian culture. The Nom de Lune is derived from the month that the Ithanian was born in, followed by the term to describe the phase of the moon, described below:

  • January is Javienne
  • February is Vrière
  • March is Marsalle
  • April is Vrillaie
  • May is Ailaise
  • June is Huinousse
  • July is Huiviesse
  • August is Aoûte
  • September is Ellaivre
  • October is Tomaise
  • November is Obraive
  • December is Grande
  • New Moon is Looxois
  • Waxing Crescenti is Croissant
  • First Quarter is Terrois
  • Waxing Gibbous is Solarent
  • Full Moon is Pouvoir
  • Waning Gibbous is Illumin
  • Third Quarter is Regalois
  • Waning Crescent is Troissant

So for example, if an Ithanian male named Guy was born in December under the Full Moon, the name up to this point would be Guy Grande-Pouvoir. Following the Nom de Lune comes the “Nom de Coeur”, which translates to Name of the Heart. The Name of the Heart is chosen by the individual during their coming of age, and it always has to be a word that describes an emotion, item, animal, object or concept that they strong associate with. For example, if this Guy Grande-Pouvoir strongly associated with lions because they were a Lion’s Pelt knight, and they felt that lions would stand for courage, then his name would become Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur. The Nom de Coeur must always be the chosen word or term, followed by the word Coeur. When the Nom de Coeur is complete, a surname is added, that signifies their family membership which for the sake of this example is Montvertu.

Then, finally, all Ithanians complete their Nom de Court with the “Nom de Noblesse”, or the name of Nobility. The word Nobility is a bit more widespread in Ithania, because the Ithanians consider themselves all to be noble as long as they are Ithanian, and ignoble if they are not. The Nom de Noblesse as such is less an aristocratic distinction held only by those of blue blood, and instead a widespread thing. The Nom de Noblesse must always be written this way: An animal chosen that they associate with or consider their spirit animal, followed by “de” (of), followed by the place they were born. So, for example, if this Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur Montvertu was born in Theloise, and considered a dog his spirit animal, his full name would finally be: Guy Grande-Pouvoir Lion Coeur Montvertu Cien de Theloise.

Laws

Ithanian Law also called Lois-Penal, is the only real legal code existing outside of the Regalian judiciary that is comparable to the complexity of Regalian Law. While Lois-Penal was originally very different from the Regalian Law code, over the last few decades, Regalian laws have progressively been overwriting the laws of Lois-Penal. Lois-Penal can be requested in Regalia, as it is protected by the Ithanian citizenship laws. When an Ithanian citizen breaks Regalian Law, an Ithanian law book must always be present during their court trial. If during the court trial is appears that what the Ithanian did wrong does not break any Ithanian laws, the court trial is suspended and the Ithanian declared innocent. This can nowadays only occur due to a small selection of laws, as the Lois-Penal and Regalian Law are effectively the same. The differences between the law penal codes is described below:

  • Any Regalian Law regarding the composition of a marriage, how many partners marry, adultery and the relation between citizenship and legal marriage are null and void in Lois-Penal. Ithanians are not legally punished for polygamy, polyandry, adultery and are not limited in who or where they can marry.
  • Any Regalian Law regarding freedom of speech, insult or ridicule or name-calling are null and void in Lois-Penal. Ithanians are not legally punished ever for insulting or defaming anyone, even if they are noble.
  • Any Regalian Law regarding violence, attempted murder, battery or assault, are punished twice as hard in Lois-Penal. If found guilty, those judged under Lois-Penal received increased penalties than if they had been judged under Regalian Law.

Lifestyle and Customs

Families

Ithanian families are, simplest put, probably the most complicated family affair of any Ailor Culture. At its very base, Ithanian families are steeped in polyandry, though largely only in the upper echelons of their society, as commoners usually don’t have any time to be entertaining additional marital relations, though they do occur. In Ithanian Culture, polygamy is considered a great evil and repressive towards women, while polyandry is considered a fair and just way of binding multiple partners together. Ithanian families are deeply matriarchal and ‘ownership’ of a family passes down from grandmother to granddaughter, with the grandmother usually choosing the granddaughter to mass matriarchy onto, not necessarily the oldest born child of the oldest born daughter. Women marry their first husband, called the Homme de Coeur, whose job it is to be a loving and caring husband for his wife. This husband is primarily tasked with attentiveness but also caring to the emotional needs of the other husbands. The second husband, called the Homme des Bras, is the husband primarily tasked with the physical protection of all members of the family, including the wife, but also all other husbands of the wife. While the Homme de Coeur is usually a more beautiful husband, the Homme des Bras is usually a stronger and most imposing husband. Then finally, the third husband is the Homme des Oiseaux, who is primarily tasked with the management of the household, as well as information gathering and financial management. This results in a 4 person marriage where each member has a strict role, whether it be leadership, caring, protection, or administration. It is permitted for the woman to sire children from all husbands, but only daughters sired from the Homme de Coeur can become new matriarchs in further generations. When an Ithanian woman only marries a single man (which is uncommon, but does happen), this man is called Homme d’Unité, who has to fulfill all tasks. Most Ithanians take pity on Homme d’Unité, as they believe life is much better lived with the burdens of domestic relations spread out over multiple members. Leadership however must always reside in the woman. Additionally, once a Homme des Bras or Homme de Coeur has died, they cannot be replaced. While Ithanian Culture is polyandrist, it is also extremely devoted, and does not re-marry or divorce like Velheim or Ceardians do, and find the very concept of divorce despicable. Loveless marriages do exist, as arranged marriages also occur in Ithanian Culture.

Ithanians also tend to live in multigenerational households, usually three generations living in the same house, but on different levels. The grandparent generation usually lives on the ground floor, while the middle generation lives on the second floor, and the youngest generation on the highest floor. The idea is that in order to reach the younger generations, one has to pass through the older generations and additional layers of protection to reach to where one wants to go. Parents are rarely involved in the raising of their own children, this is usually given to the grandparents, specifically the grandmother and the Homme de Coeur grandfather. Grandchildren call their grandmother Sucré-Mère, or Sugar-Mother, and consider both their biological mother and their biological grandmother their mothers, though only ever acknowledge their biological father as their father, and their mother’s other husbands “uncles”. That being said, they do not consider their half-siblings not full-blooded relatives. As long as they belong to the same mother, all siblings are considered full-blooded. Ithanian families matriarchal training begins with sisters to brothers. Brothers are never permitted to choose who they wish to marry or court, rather, this is decided upon by the sister, even if she is not the matriarch. Same-sex relations in Ithanian families are a somewhat controversial topic. Female same-sex relations simply do not exist in the legal sense. A woman and another woman cannot be married. A woman can however take an extramarital lover (since adultery is not illegal in Ithanian law), called the Femme de Coeur. A woman having multiple female lovers however is strictly forbidden and taboo, and the idea that they must marry a man at some point remains true even if they are strictly same-sex oriented, because women in Ithanian culture have a duty to lead men. Same-sex relations among men are equally dubious. It is often encouraged of a Homme de Coeur to have more than friendly relations with the Homme des Bras and Homme des Oiseaux, though this only rarely actually happens. Married men are permitted to have male lovers to some degree, even numerous ones, but they may never be permitted inside the house or to be seen by the wife. Same-sex men in Ithanian society simply never marry, which Ithanians consider acceptable. An Ithanian man who never married and loves other men is said to have “Espirit d’Homme”, which as a concept allows them to live without needing the guidance and leadership of women.

Gender Roles

Ithanian gender divisions are extreme and absolute. There is no violation or deviation possible (though there may have been some circumstances where the regulations were bent a bit). Women rule and fulfill all the various leadership positions. Men are the military, craftsmen, and physical laborers as well as the bureaucrats, managers, and caretakers. Varran are used exclusively as slaves for the lower-end jobs and positions that are considered too dirty or low for Humans to perform. The inclusion of Varran as first rank citizens in the Regalian Empire has had no effect on the slavery of Varran in Ithania. In fact, the Grand Sovereign of Ithania negotiated a deal (still upheld by King Florent) that any Varran in Ithania remains a slave-worthy creature and does not have first citizen rights within the borders of the Ithanian realm. It is believed that the Espirit de Lune dictates that women are charged and have the responsibility to contain the worst violent and authoritarian excesses inflicted by men in other Cultures by leading for them. Men who have Espirit d’Homme in turn are exempt from this, so it is in fact possible to encounter a man ruling something in Ithania, or managing something, as long as they are exclusively same-sex oriented and unmarried. Far from being de-masculated cuckolds, Ithanian men have a great deal of pride and take satisfaction making their contribution to family life and Ithania as a whole. All of Ithania (except the downtrodden and slaves) generally live in extremely high wealth standards, and as such, Ithanian men are far less prone to what they refer to as toxic masculinity that permeates other Cultures as they try to hold onto archaic male-dominated strength-based structures that have a habit of inflicting death and violence on itself. They generally have a high level of self-awareness and self-esteem due to the very open and involved Ithanian society that prioritizes mental welfare far more than any other Culture or race, allowing them to easily deflect any de-masculating comedy created by those who they believe insist on perpetuating misogynistic principles.

Religion

Ithanians are strong adherents of Unionism. While the Faith of Estel was once dominant, and while heresy faiths exist elsewhere in the Empire, Ithania has remained Unionist and converted virtually as soon as the period of Regalian domination began. This conversion had two reasons. Primarily, they converted because the Unionist faith is central to the idea of the Ithanian liberties, or more specifically, the Ithanian liberties at the expense of the other Races. Unionism as a faith allows for Ailor to abuse or degrade other Races, thus expanding the individual liberties of the faithful at the expense of the non-faithful, who are cast away and worthy of basic rights. This has allowed Ithanians a guilt-free pass at effectively developing the doctrine of Imperialism, colonizing far away lands both legally and militarily to extract all valuables from the land and locals, while leaving the locals behind in destitute conditions. Indeed, Ithania remains the largest slave-owning realm in the Regalian Empire, as their wealth continues to be built on the work of those in chains.

Literature and Folklore

Philosophy

Ithanian Culture knows the so-called Princois Decelles, or Principles of Divine Divinity. These Principles identify the cornerstone of Ithanian society, and why they engage in certain actions and expressions. They are as follows:

  • Princois d’Elvellen: The Elvellen Principle exists to express that the Ithanians consider the Elves (Altalar only) a remarkably advanced and high Culture people worthy of emulating and integrating into their own society. Their finesse and poise is something worth rivalling and exceeding, but also incorporating. This has largely caused Ithanians to frequently side with Altalar over other Ailor-prone issues or business, causing them to sometimes be referred to as race-traitors. The Ithanians believe that the Altalar (particularly Teledden) are a kindred spirit, and as such are more prone to cooperating with them than anyone else.
  • Princois Libresse: The Liberty Principle exists to express that Ithanians believe freedom of expression is the highest right that should be respected and exercised, and that their freedom of decadent expression is the hallmark of their Culture. Local autonomy, as well as choice of habitation and freedom are immensely important to the Ithanians. It is said that in Ithania and in Pays-Sud there is no such thing as a serf. Indeed, when comparing Pays Sud with Anglia, one finds that the jobs usually filled by semi-free serfs are instead filled by slaves, and even the poorest of Ithanian commoner is free to choose where they work, when, and how, instead of being locked to the land they were born on due to the debts of their parents to a landlord. Part of this principle is also that Ithanians are progressive, and seek to expand the liberties of their people, as well as others within their society with the exception of slaves. This is why most Ithanians tend to be on the side of progressive change and law reforms.
  • Princois Duresse: The Peaceful Principle exists to express that warfare has no positive outcome ever and should be avoided at all costs. That being said, Ithanians aren’t strictly defenseless or incapable of going to war, it is just that they use all venues available before agreeing to military matters. When Ithanians go to war, they express that there must be “Beauty in death”, and that if death comes, it must come from the hands of those who decide. What this means in practice, is that Ithanian armies are the only armies in the world that have both women and men in it, but that stratify the roles of both genders. Men must always be the frontline soldiers, who never attack. Ithanian formations are designed around a core of female archers and skirmishers that are led by an all-female general’s camp. The job of the men is to form a strong shield formation to protect the women, and hold off the enemy, while the women whittle down their foe with projectiles. Mages of either gender are also used on the vanguards to ensure stability for the core. Ithanians never advance or go on the offense, and prefer to remain stationary and defensive, even on a battlefield of their choosing. Far from being predictable or outdated, Ithanian battle tactics around defensive formations are the most skilfully executed and well developed defensive doctrines in the world, taught at the military academy for generals in the capital of Ithania (but only to women). Knights exist separately from Ithanian armies, and are just as frequently male as they are female, acting as scouts or frontline commanders during battles. It is a frequently misused conception that Ithania does not have an Army. Ithania does in fact have an army, but rarely actually mobilizes it, as it has a tax arrangement with the Regalian Empire that charges the Empire with protection in exchange for increased payments from Ithania. Ithania also has a highly skilled Royal Guard that is only rivaled by the Imperial Guard of the Regalian Emperor.
  • Princois Ancois: The Ancestor Principle exists to express that praise of one’s ancestors is a great virtue, and that ancestors deserve to be included even after death. This usually results in Ithanian estates or houses have numerous ancestral shrines, statues of deceased ancestors that have incense and flowers laid near them on a daily basis. Some Ithanians take it even further by including a statue of their deceased relative at the dining table, but this only tends to happen in the most excessive of households.
  • Princois Vilois: The Vilification Principle exists to express that Ithanians should expend every financial means possible to themselves (bar from preventing them from committing to the Princois Notoise) to diminish or destroy outside factors that could remove or limit their freedom of expression. It is also considered a good practice to try and enrich oneself, a glorification of capitalist tendencies and imperialist doctrines, usually at the expense of the poor and the slaves. Finances are a measure of a person’s success in Ithanian Culture, and financial success in itself can be used as a means to prove someone’s effectiveness.

The Arts

Ithanian jewelry is some of the finest in Aloria.

Art

Ithanian art is extremely similar to Imperial art in the realm of statuary, given that they both represent glorification of the bodily figure, though Ithanian style instead focuses on thinly shrouding the figure’s body with really thin silks complete with complex folds. Usually, the folds produced by the contours of the body are of higher artistic expression than the whole statue itself. As such, a sculptor will often create strange, unrealistic facial proportions but extremely realistic clothing folds, and still be considered a master sculptor. Surprisingly, Ithanian art is not exclusively aimed at women. Male statues are in fact more frequently seen, as the female attitude towards men is more complicated than just misandrist. While it is true that Ithanian women consider themselves emotionally superior to men, they also glorify and praise the physical superiority of men, and their intellectual capacity. It is more common for households ran by women to have male statues in their household, celebrating the male physique in various physical activities, and praising a standard of beauty set by the household. Statues are almost exclusively made out of the whitest of marble, as the color white is considered pure in Ithanian Culture. They believe dark stone colors are obscene and dirty, and refrain from showcasing anything that includes a tanned skin, as working under the sun to them shows poorness, and poorness does not belong in art. Jewelry is also an expression of art in Ithanian Culture, particularly adopting Altalar jewelry but also designing their own, often in combination with Altalar silks or Sihai silks, embroidered with gold-thread. Silver is considered a dirty metal in Ithania, and is rarely seen, as Ithanians consider silver a poor people’s metal.

Music

Ithanian music is often imported from the Dressolini, as that Culture is considered to have the best musicians. However, it is thanks to the Ithanians that the music theatre genre known as the Opera was born in Aloria. Under Ithanian guidance and desire for decadent and beautiful theatre, Dressolini composers were directed to produce works for the stage, which led to the creation of Opera. While it quickly jumped back to the Regalian Archipelago, Ithanian Culture seized on it and formed their own traditions. Ithanian Opera heavily focuses on the political drama of the story as well as the costuming for all involved. A wholly original form of Ithanian music though is the Chanson, literally translated as “song” in Common, but referring to a genre of epic poetry songs that describe the harrowing early years of Ithanian society as they struggled to commit to pure pacifism. They also focus on the founding of the Ithanian Sovereignty, but both events are largely mythologized in these stories as a way to glorify the ancestors of modern Ithanian aristocrats.

Fashion

An example of female and male Ithanian fashion. Note the bright colors and draping, silky fabric
Ithanian fashion largely follows the same core base for female dresses. As can be seen here, just a few adjustments to the outfit renders a very different appearance.

Ithanian fashion is strongly dominated by silk, and often even by semi-translucent silks. In fact, their fervor for silk is so great, that they absorb nearly half the Empire’s silk production, and nearly 8 out of every 10 bales of silks arriving as imports from the Sihai lands. For women, modesty is covered, but skin is frequently exposed for the sake of attracting attention and showcasing what the women are proud of. For men, parts of the chest and stomach can be exposed, but arms and legs must always be strictly covered up, whether with silks or with gloves. A man who has peak physical fitness usually gets away with larger and more open pieces of clothing, while men who are overweight are forced to completely cover up including a hat, as their physique is considered too repulsive to public viewing. Ithanians have developed the fashionable clothing piece called the crop top (frequently worn by men), where it merely covers the chest and leaves the stomach exposed. This is normally a piece of clothing worn by commoners (due to the heat of Ithanian deserts and the countryside), however has made its way to the upper classes as a form of casual home dressing that is liberating and expressive, with high accessorization. Additionally, Ithanians must not under any circumstances wear furs or pelts, as these are considered barbarian clothing pieces.

Architecture

Ithanian architecture is well known for representing some of the grandest and most complex work in Aloria, blending ancient Altalar design with Ailor materials and labor to produce glorious structures. It is important to note that commoners don’t necessarily live in palaces, but even the low stratas of Ithanian society live in reasonably large houses. The only true downtrodden of Ithanian society live in so-called undercities. These undercities are usually at the bottom end of the Ithanian waterfalls, artificial waterfalls are usually created in Ithanian cities for their beauty, while also creating a distinct undercity where the copious amount of dew and mist of the cascading water obscures view. It is generally said that while everything touched by the sunlight in Ithania is pristine and clean and rich and glorious, everything touched by the dew of the waterfalls where the sun does not reach is a hotbed of crime. Many Ithanians also still live in Altalar structures which remain remarkably well preserved even more than a thousand years of habitation. As for the structures entirely original and representative of Ithanian principles, one must look to the outskirts of major cities and the countryside. There, the Palace exists, occasionally referred to as a Hôtel. This luxury structure is the centerpiece of Ithanian design philosophy and it is also designed to service the extravagant needs of its owners. The structure has many major features, but in general can be described as existing in three parts, with a central hall possessing two grand wings outward and often extending backwards from a grand facade that makes up the front of the building. This facade features columns, multiple windows, and crenulations, as well as a grand front entrance with a short flight of steps required to reach it. In front of the facade is an enormous water feature, usually a pond to a fountain, surrounded by the path in and out of the Palace’s front. Within the structure, huge, vaulted ceilings with wall and ceiling murals displaying scenes of elegant beauty and Ithanian history give a ceremonial grandeur to the space, added to the frequent use of glass or crystal arranged along the walls, with everything gilded in Gold. The central hall is where the dining room, the ballroom, and all of the important rooms of ceremonial activity are located, in addition to the bedrooms of all the important women staying in the building.

Cuisine

Ithanian cuisine has a strong identity known as Haute Cuisine by the outside world. In many ways, Ithanian cooking is an almost daily full-day consuming business, where members of Ithanian society work all day long to provide abundant ingredients and rich flavors to Ithanian chefs for their creations (for a better example of the various exotic ingredients needed for only one Ithanian dish, look at Pix Castellois). These chefs are also some of the best paid in the world, and often have recipe books that they guard as feverishly as any holy scripture. Additionally, unlike in most other areas, Ithanian chefs are divided into several categories based on their specific skills and, in the major kitchens of the land’s nobility, are subdivided into their own area of said kitchens where they work to make their specific dishes. In terms of gastronomy, Ithanian cuisine is considered the most excellent in the world. Practically every other Culture and Race has adopted one form of Ithanian cooking technique, making it also the most wide-spread. Ithanian cuisine (aside from using cheese and wine in nearly every dish as a garnish or addition) makes use of all kinds of vegetables, spices, fruits, fish and meats, and eggs, though avoids raw grain products as those are considered crude and barbaric in Ithanian cuisine. Ithanians are also known for their sumptuous desserts, from the Eclair to the Macaron to Haute Puisse.

Recreation

Sports

Ithanians do not possess many sports, as the natural competitive nature of such competitions is often shunned in their society. That being said, non-competitive sports with singular athletes are hugely popular, especially among the ruling classes. A common practice is “Expression de terre” which roughly translates to an expression of earth (or dirt). What this usually involves is a troupe of Ithanians (either female friends, or sisters) hosting a tea party or some sort of dining soiree in a gazebo or terrace. This gazebo or terrace usually overlooks a courtyard, or some sort of open air field, where an individual sportsman or sportswoman engages in their activities. This is usually for the sake of bodily glorification. For example, a strong man may engage in a variety of athletic activities such as spear-throwing, disk-throwing or lap sprinting while showcasing their physique with minimal clothing for the viewing pleasure of those hosting the party. A woman knight might engage in technique practice, and an archer might have disks thrown into the air to shoot through. The display is never the central focus, but rather a background beauty, like a painting, to decorate one’s social affairs with. In other cases, sports are usually done behind closed doors. Women have rowing machines, while men have weight lifting machines in private rooms just designed for them. Sweat is considered repulsive to Ithanians and must at all times not be smelled or even perceived. Those who are sweating and seen in public, consider this a great humiliation (unless if it is during an Expression de terre, in which case it is actually considered appealing.

Leisure

The Ithanians are often known for possessing ample amounts leisure time, thanks to the majority of them being nobles with little real work to do. One of the games most commonly played during downtime, is Nine Handmaidens. Each player receives nine playing pieces, and first places them all into a board, before being allowed to move one single space in the area around them. The ultimate goal is to capture the opponent's nine tokens before she captures yours, or to deny the opponent's ability to make a move. The game is thought to teach political principals to Ithanian noblewomen, and is often called Ithanian Chess due to the similarities between the two games. Another form of leisure for Ithanians is a game called Twice Foretold. The idea is that a group of people sits in a circle at a table, and has 10 coins. Clockwise, each person must think of a rumor or gossip about a person either at the table, or not present at the table. Each person who believes that rumor to be really good or causing them to laugh, gives one coin to the person creating the gossip. When a full rotation of all members at the table has passed, the person with the most amount of coins decides who has lost that round, removing one participant and resetting all the coin counters. Eventually when only two players are left, there is a democratic election among all the losing members who is the winner of the game. Ithanian leisure as such is mostly about mind or card games, especially with elements of deceit or testing one’s vocabulary.

Trivia

  • Ithania is the largest consumer of the cheese and wine produced by Burdigalan lands. The Ithanians developed the so-called charcuterie, a large serving plate with small cheese, meat and fruit bites that is served during public events.
  • Ithania, despite not being present in Regalian state matters on a daily basis, actually has an almost daily impact on the state, whether through the absence of their tax income, or through the acts of their less-known schemers.
  • Ithania has some of the most world-renowned horse riders, particularly the Chevaux de l’Aïr. These horse riders ride winged horses in the sky, charging down at foes from the sky to support defensive formations by flanking those caught in the frontline.

Accreditation
Writers MonMarty, HydraLana
Processors HydraLana, FireFan96, TheBioverse, MantaRey
Last Editor HydraLana on 10/25/2020.

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