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Imperial

While the term ‘Imperial’ may sometimes be employed to refer to anyone upon the Imperial Continent by those on the Outer Islands, it does have another meaning on the Continent itself. Since the Unifications and the Imperial Law of Travel and Citizenship, those who are considered to be Imperial are those that are of mix-blooded; for example, an Ikaté mother and a Wetterlenn father would have an Imperial child. Being of mixed-blood has always been considered a fine trait in the Empire, as Leopold himself has wrought all the people of the Continent into his bloodline, and is a sign of inclusiveness and a willingness to abandon the old ways. Being of such a varied descent, there is no one strict Imperial trait. Commonly, an Imperial take after the darker traits of each parent, meaning their skin will take on a dark tan if they have a Ha’nahe parent or the dark brown or green eyes of the Ikaté - the one exception being the white hair that sometimes occur among the Boerjh, which seems to always breed true. It is not unusual for Imperial children to be seen as a symbol of the Unification, and are commonly raised to embody the Imperial ideals of stoicism, pride and ambition, though one cannot say that those of Imperial ‘blood’ have one singular culture. An Imperial from the Three Kingdoms will likely be very different from one from Harrovehl.   If one was to attempt to nail down an Imperial culture, it is the trends and behaviours set by Leopold himself and his Imperial Court, whose actions shape the whole of the Empire. The Emperor has always been seen to take facts at face value, accepting them for what they are, even endeavours to change them. Though Leopold has never been one to explain his actions, those actions often speak for themselves. There always seems to be a genuine attempt in the Emperor to understand what goes on throughout the Empire, even as he uses that understanding to shape it. Likewise, while Leopold and the Imperial Court may attempt to know that which oppose them, there is never any question of who is right and who is wrong; the Empire is ever the way forward, and while it is not wrong to learn from those that are brought into the fold, they shall be brought in line. If the Empire can be said to have one philosophy it is that one can appreciate the arguments of others without being swayed by them. Anything that does not lead to improvement can be safely discarded. This, then, breeds plenty of ambition into the Imperials, who are taught to realise their beliefs through actions. It is unfortunately not rare for those who try to learn from the Emperor’s example to act with bullheadedness rather than the open pride of Leopold, yet it is perhaps not too surprising that few can live up to the standard of the Ever-And-Never Dying.   The greatest example of Imperial architecture stands as the palace at Leopold’s Rose, the very heart of the Empire. A domed building of marble, it rises many levels into the air, its walls adorned with murals depicting great scenes from the Empire’s history. Arches hold doorways and windows, both great and small. While the stone may have been wrought with ornamentation, they are large and meant to add to the majesty of the building, rather than provide fine detail. Inside, paintings and banners adorn the wall, while the cold stone floor is covered in fine, warm carpets. Large chambers make no secrets as to the palace’s nature: A seat of power, sizable enough to host all the Empire’s governing organs, as well as the Emperror himself. Though no one building in the Empire is equal to the palace in grandeur, it is evident through the Imperial nations that the capital is vastly influential in the style of new buildings, with arches, domes and fantastic detail growing more and more commonplace regardless of the size of the dwelling or its building materials. The style manages to be at once bombastic, yet refined. As with the Empire itself, it states its purpose plainy, then pursues it without additional drama.   Just as with the architecture, what is considered Imperial fashion is what is found at the Capital, and it sets the trend for the rest of the Continent. Currently, pleated skirts and kilts, fastened above the hip and falling down to just above the ankle are popular, and often used to display political orientation - red for those that belong to the vehili position, green for those that take the fri stance, and blue for those few that do not subscribe to either philosophy. Close to the warmer climate at the centre of the Continent, it is not rare for Imperials to go without a tunic, especially during the summer, though thin coats are often worn in such cases, half-closed in front and in a colour to compliment the lower half. Banded sandals and boots are both popular, usually adorned with buckles of the finest metal the owner can afford. Often, a single piece of jewelry will be worn, either a necklace, a fine crown, or a ring, wrought from electrum if the bearer can afford it, otherwise either gold or silver. Sometimes, it is accompanied by a gemstone or pearl, yet as often the focus is meant to be on the fine craftsmanship of the metal. Tattoos of lines that intersect, forming animals have always been popular, either on the arms, or on the chest and neck - for the dedicated, those marks commonly bear the colour of their political party. Though the Imperial style may be too revealing for colder climates, it is very much the height of fashion in the Pivotal Cities, and inspires the fashion of those places further away.   If the Imperials have a system of governance, it is that of the Empire itself. The Imperial Law streams from Leopold, and is channeled out through the Imperial Court and its departments, then funneled down the Pivotal Cities and sent out across the cardinal directions, influencing the whole of the Empire. Often, Imperial Law is not overbearing, but it is absolute, and when defectors are found they are dealt through the quick and harsh hands of the justicars, travelling judges and their retinues who’s sole dictate is to ensure that Imperial Law is followed - they do not deal with national issues unless directly asked by the regional head of state. It can be said that every part of the Empire is free to construct its own form of internal power structure, yet the Emperor’s will always stand above them.   Being that Leopold himself is from Ikaté, many Ikaté names are today considered to be Imperial, although many bear a sign of southern influences. Typically, they begin with a consonant and consist of three to four syllables, with masculine names ending on a constant and female on a vowel, while those that are neither male nor female tending to end their names on silent constants (such as ‘oh’ or ‘iah’). Last names tend to more closely correspond to the culture which the Imperial is born in, and in Ki’Allack, all but the most progressive of Imperials use the appropriate prefix.   Given the definition of Imperials essentially being ‘those in the Empire born with multiple heritages’, it does create an interesting situation with the city of Khaluhmn, which has historically always been a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. One may say that even before the Empire, Imperials populated the City of the Great Score, though few do so. Instead, khalites tend to be seen as their own ethnic group, not because of anything visual distinction between them and the Imperials, but because they are noticeably products of the cultural heritage of Khaluhmn, rather than that of the Empire. However, as there is no immediately evident difference between the two, the differences are seldom a point of focus, although the distinction is there for those that find it useful.   It is estimated that about forty percent of the population of the Continent are Imperial, and they only become more and more prevalent with every generation. They are found on all sides of the Empire’s political spectrum, yet as a rule, there is a trend in most courts of being somewhat more lenient towards Imperial. If this is because the way Imperials are raised makes them more likely to conform to Imperial Law and be loyal to the Emperor or whether there exists a cultural bias is, perhaps, something better left unsaid. There is, however, no doubt that New Leopold herself is of Imperial descent, with her white hair and darkly tanned skin. While many of her followers are from walks of life that feel as if they have been suppressed by the Empire, there are a notable number of Imperials among the Truists, especially within the Ordo Non. It appears that being of the proper bloodline does not guarantee loyalty.

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