Marriage (Kingdom of the Evergreens)
Marriage is no strange custom in Zentrem. Certainly not in Varia where it is often used for socio-political purposes—from establishing families to ensuring alliances and financial agreements. Of course, the majority of Varia are of shorter-lived humanoid races, barring the heavily dwarven populations of the far north. Compare that demographic to the Evergreens, nay, the entirety of the Feylands, even, where the average of an individual living in the continent is upwards of three hundreds years. One can only expect a great discrepancy in their views on this ritual of marriage. However, reality has that presumption is simultaneously true and false. In the Kingdom of the Evergreens at least, marriage still fulfills the purposes of formal agreements, of socio-political exchanges, which exceed the ideas behind the practice's predecessor there: the life bond. Yet, individuals, with an awareness of the length of the marriage, perspectives on longevity or no, are so much more careful with the choice. Culturally, marriage has been sacred since the times preceding the Kingdoms. The long-lived humanoids of the Feylands seem more acutely aware of the possible long journey they must make with a single individual, upon being bound by marriage. It is intimate, and it is personal, in ways that humans, as one example, cannot always comprehend. So, it should not surprise that a fair number of elves marry and enter the phase of child-rearing near the twilight of their lives, maybe upwards of five or six hundred years of age. In the Feylands, gnomes can follow similar trends, too. As a result, one should consider that seeing an elven or gnomish couple together at the prime of their lives to be a rare sight indeed.
The concept of marriage in the Kingdom of the Evergreens practice from the practice of life bonding carried out by ancient tribal peoples in the western regions of the Feylands. Life bonding involved an individual choosing another creature, usually a humanoid, to establish a singular, extremely intimate relationship. Supposedly, shamans and other druidic practitioners also intertwined individuals in a life bond with magic, connecting their spirits to add an extra dimension to the relationship.
Marriage thus evolved from life bonding. In the modern day, the idea of an intimate and loyal partnership between two individuals remained sacred among the cultures of the Evergreens. Furthermore, the overseeing of the marriage ceremony by a practitioner of holy or druidic magic became standard throughout the kingdom. However, beyond dictated ceremonial rites, the usage of any supernatural power to bind individuals in magic is not practiced.