Aêdelan Culture | Lost Waves


Aëdelan culture prides itself on a balance between beauty and rationality. Many famous wizards and mathematicians heralds from here, but also sculptors and bards. Knowledge is there to aid in the creation of culture and culture exists to form knowledge.


Major language groups and dialects

Aelnan is spoken throughout most of those within the culture, though some dialects and very different.

Art & Architecture

If it isn't beautiful, it's not worth building. Lightly-coloured materials with many decorations are ideal. Town squares have statues and possibly fountains. Everything has stylistic additions to make it more appealing, and often very colourful such. Art is elaborate and filled with symbolism. To merely paint a landscape is unthinkable. There has to be a representation of ideas, important individuals, other planes, or something else. The most appreciated artists are those whose works can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.   Outsiders might be confused in an aëdelan city as any large building looks beautiful enough to possibly be official. The actual official buildings can be recognised by the choice of statues and other symbols.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

When a child is a couple of weeks old, families hold a celebration for friends and relatives. The child is presented to a representative for the god of the household (or any official if no such person is available). They are as such welcomed into society.

Coming of Age Rites

Schooling is highly valued by aëdelans and completing a formal exam in their late teens mark them being ready as adults. This has also brought about discrimination towards those who find it hard, or difficult to pass the exam. Everyone is given the opportunity to take it in a way that suits them, but to never pass means to never fully be treated as an adult.

Funerary and Memorial customs

When someone dies, they are treated in accordance with the church of their household patron god. Even if there is no representation of such a church nearby, another priest will do their best to follow the other god's rituals. Unless the god's teachings say otherwise, bodies are entombed in local cemeteries. Larger cities might have graveyards connected to the temples of a god. The richer the person, the larger the tomb. A poor person might be able to afford a simple grave or a so-called oven crypt .

Common Taboos

Being illiterate, slow-witted, or otherwise intellectually underperforming, is somewhat shameful. One should at least pretend to be educated. The same goes for making sure others know that you understand art, even if you have to fake it.   Being proper and displaying propriety are completely different things. The former isn't strictly necessary, breaking the latter is an absolute taboo. This means being faithful, dedicated to one's god and family, and seeking to better society through study.


Beauty Ideals

Aëdelian clothing is usually colourful renaissance-style clothing. This puts them in stark contrast to the cultures more common in south-eastern Allowadh. Even some of the lower classes combine this with expensive-looking jewellery. Of course, some of this is fake and only painted iron and coloured glass.   While northern parts of the culture favour pale complexions over darker ones, the most important factor is an even skin tone. Darker or lighter areas means having to do labour in the sun rather than intellectual endeavours. Elaborate hairstyles, makeup and similar show a similar ability to focus on the finer things in life.

Gender Ideals

There are two social genders: feminine and masculine. These are typically determined at birth and assigned based on the perception of genitals. Some individuals transition from one to the other later in life, but while not considered wrong, it is deemed to be unusual. Out of the two, feminine expressions are often considered slightly higher status. It is much more common for men to take on traditionally female attributes than the reverse.   Aëdelians do consider themselves egalitarian, but there is a distinct, if slight, slant in favour of women.

Courtship Ideals

Any courting should be dramatic and romantic. Bonus points for creating a work of art, such as a song, to your beloved. But it isn't odd to pursue more than one relationship nor to accept more than one suitor. In fact, it is more or less expected for a young person seeking love to "try out" a few possibilities before settling if they can. It is only natural to try to understand the subject, after all.

Relationship Ideals

Monogamous life-long marriage is the ideal to the aêdelans. Divorce is possible but considered out of the ordinary. Infidelity is a clear taboo. That said, having someone on the side is almost universally accepted to be an open secret. Everyone does it, but you don't talk about it. If there are children in your relationship that doesn't look like their father, it is ignored by everyone. This keeps the divorce rates down, as unhappy spouses just get into a different relationship in supposed secrecy. Break-ups normally only happen if there is abuse or something similar going on.   Every household has a patron god that they pray to for protection and favour. This doesn't prevent them from seeking out other gods, such as someone they grew up worshipping, but it does represent their ideals.
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