Phelinian Royal Marriage Tradition / Ritual in Ayrith | World Anvil

Phelinian Royal Marriage


The Phelinian royal marriage tradition originates with Grand King Caolan. After regaining control of Phelin from the Overlord of Berk, Caolan married his lover, who became Second King Kian. He also married two women who became his queens, Dyna and Nydia. This arrangement allowed Caolan to remain with his lover, but also allowed for legitimate heirs to be born. The tradition continued within the royal family, and was adopted by others within the country.


The wedding itself, when taking place between the future Grand King and his spouses, is conducted by the castle priest, who calls upon the gods to bless the marriage. Rings are exchanged, but emphasis is placed on the future Grand King as the central figure in the ceremony. Along with the rings, he places a rope, typically of blue and gold silk, on his spouses. These cords represent the spouses' new status as members of the royal family, and are typically worn across the body from the right shoulder on men, and tied around the waist on women.

After the wedding, a celebratory banquet is held, attended, as the wedding is, by nobles from across the country.

In weddings between commoners, or others of equal status, the ceremony does not emphasize one spouse over the others. It is conducted by a local priest or other official, and the act of each spouse marrying the three others is equally portrayed.


The Grand King, or future Grand King, is expected to have children with both wives. Typically, the number of children expected is approximately ten. Producing an heir as quickly as possible is seen as a good omen.

The Second King, or future Second King, is expected to be the Grand King's closest advisor and spymaster. He is also often a court sorcerer. Though intimate relations with his spouses is expected, he is not permitted to father children with either of his wives, in order to keep the line of succession free of any possible conflict.

Both Queens, or future queens, are expected to, at the minimum, be mothers to the Grand King's children. However, they often hold political and social power within the court and have been known to be advisors to the Grand King on equal standing with the Second King. They are expected to avoid having children with the Second King, though are also encouraged to be intimate with him.

In marriages where the participants are of equal social status, they are merely expected to live well. Depending on their families, children may be desired, but there is rarely the expectation that only one man will be a father, or even one woman the only mother.


Though mainly followed by the Grand Kings and some of their children, the "royal marriage," as it is called, is followed by many throughout the country, though not always in the same arrangement of two men and two women. Many variations on the composition and number of participants in the marriage exist, but there are never more than four spouses within a recognized marriage. Bringing in an additional spouse after another's death is uncommon, but does happen and is a recognized form of the marriage. The Grand King's family, however, does not traditionally add spouses after a death.

The popularity of the "royal marriage" has also allowed couples in same-gender relationships to marry, or to otherwise endure less discrimination in daily life than they had prior to Grand King Caolan's creation of the tradition. In some regions of Phelin, those same-gender couples are also considered to be in a "royal marriage."

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