The Asir

Elements of Culture - A Closer Look at the Asir

Social Organization – From their early rise out of tribesman and cultural obscurity to their steady incline towards imperial rule, the Asirian people always had a well-respected structure within their society. They follow a strict hierarchy—which is still observed to this day.

The Emperor and Empress preside as sovereign, though equality and power are shared between the two rules. The most common title is Laa’zero and Laa’zera respectively. Aristocracy is common-place, with preferential treatment to the royal family. The aristocrats are split into six classes ranging from a stylized in equivalency from Baron, to Viscount, Count, Marquis and Duke and the Chieftan leaders. The most powerful and well to do clans of the Asirians are considered equivalent to nobility and over the centuries reflected as much. Social rank is obtained either by blood or merit, with blood being held in obligation by the Imperial Call—a binding oath that ensures the fealty of clans to the sovereign family.

The Senarian Clan is one of the five major Imperial Families, and the most famous of the Asirian clans, their Imperial emblem being a Dragon while the symbol of the people is a Phoenix.

Customs and Traditions – Despite the political unrest that the Senarian Empire faced, Asirians are greatly influenced by Vitharian and Dojian cultures. These influences are observed by their devout belief in the natural elements around them and the gods that personify them—which established many traditions that can be seen in modern Khiaperion today. These traditions include the ethical code of conduct in social life and showing respect for the elderly and the family.

Asirians also believe in sincerity and loyalty and follow certain codes of conduct while meeting, eating, praying and even celebrating. At times when many other cultures would shake hands, Asirians bow as a sign of gratitude and respect to the person they are meeting. Family is one of the most important part of Asirian society, with the elderly grandparents being decision makers. They also believe in a hierarchical structure and that children help their parents and must obey them and show respect to the elders. The concepts of duty, loyalty, honor and sincerity are deeply ingrained in their lives. It is not uncommon for Khaiperian children to stay with their parents well into their adult lives to return the courtesy of taking care of them.

Religion – Asirian, like the rest of the Khaiperian Empire, maintain the common polytheistic worship of the gods and have for several centuries. They are deeply connected to the elements as well as the magic that comes with their surroundings—and as such, have a great deal of respect for the deities that personify these elements. These ancestral principles which are ingrained into society are a driving force for the polytheistic worship. The hierarchy is structured into the Chief Deities, followed by lesser deities. Many Imperial temples, cities and festivals center around these deities.

Language – Vana’kata is the mother tongue of all Khiaperians, though the Khaiperian people’s culture have led to varying dialects. The Asirian dialect is more complex and rolling in its sound, fluid unlike traditional Vana’kata. The use of Terric has always had great cultural impact on the language through its evolution. The Asirian dialect of Vana’kata is considered one of the most complicated of the dialects yet is also said to be one of the most beautiful sounding.

Arts and Literature – Cultural dances are a regular practice among most Khaiperians, but the Asirian are prolific for their ability to weave. It is speculated that one of the Asirian clans were chosen for the honor to capture the history of the gods—but no words were beautiful enough. And so, the chief god Cy had commissioned his cousin Scerifus the Goddess of Weaving to teach the clan how to create beautiful tapestries and more. They were considered the first God-touched of the Khiaperians civilization and were revered for their ability to weave so well, they could even weave magic.

The Senaria Clan were some of the best-known dancers due to being able to weave magic into their steps and create a story come to life. Khaiperians have a colorful wardrobe, with the Asirian preferring styles very similar to Weland—silks, chiffon, cotton, wool and heavier fabrics like brocade and wool in the falls and winter; bright vivid colors and patterns are a norm and they take great pride in elaborate sashes, beading, embroideries and headdresses. Due to the racial trait of their natural long hair, they were the most known to wear elaborate hairstyles and jeweled accessories to showcase their status. With Raveena as a newly minted queen came about the second reformation of the Empire, including the right to education. By establishing several academic, magical, scientific and military academies across the Empire, the newly revived Empire was well on its way to reestablishing its cultural identity.

Forms of Government – Although Asirians had unified the various clans, their regional lords remained semi-independent within their city-states and posed a threat to the monarchy. To secure political alliances, the late King Chatai imposed reforms upon coming to power to consolidate monarchical authority. Today, the Asirian region elect a house among their clans to serve on the council that answers to the Imperial family. This council helps to maintain the affairs of the territories across the realm, effectively creating a modern court. Decisions concerning each realm are made on an individual basis, however larger concerns that stand to impact the Empire are ultimately decided by the Empress and her Emperor Consort.

Economic Systems - Asirian’s impressive ability to weave make them a staple to the merchant cities as well as the trade council for the Khaiperian Empire. With their contributions, Khaiperion and its surrounding cities have reached a stable mixed economy and now have access to hundreds of currencies across Khaiperion for exchange. Among the regional people, they favor trade and merchant status above others—serving as some of the wealthiest clans in the Empire among their peers.

Ethnic inspirations: Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos

The Vithar

Elements of Culture – A Closer Look at the Vithari

Social Organization –

Like many other Khaiperians, the Vithari favor hierarchy. While they adhere to sovereignty, within their own clans and families they retain their own social hierarchy. Individuals are ranked by their wealth and power, and within familial groups men outrank women and the elderly outrank the young.

Those who rank higher are seen as purer while those who rank lower are seen as less clean. Social interdependence is very common-place, with tight-knit bonds—not just between families, but clans and neighbors as well. These strict lines of authority have been in place since the Vitharian region formed, based on creating harmony. Though poverty was an on-going issue for many centuries, the Vithari have made strides in reforming their beliefs without casting away their own cultural identity. There are many that still hold fast to old beliefs and look down on those who are disadvantaged in their society.

Customs and Traditions – Festivals and elaborate celebrations were born from Vithari tradition. The most celebrated festival, the Kaess festival, was designed by Raveena to respect the old Vitharian dynasty and pay homage to the Senarian Empire. The Vithari believe in taking time to celebrate various aspects of life, from the birth of a child to the birth of a nation.

Food is a prevalent and stable part of Vitharian custom. Food ranges from the comfort to the extravagant, and it’s important to share between neighbors and friends. It is seen as a way of bringing people together and engaging in their beliefs of maintaining bonds between family. Many Vitharians run the food stalls and restaurants throughout the Khaiperian Empire, and have legendary brewing abilities, producing some of the finest Kyrosian wine in the land.

One of the more controversial and taboo practices is that of political marriages. Though this practice was prevalent through even the Asirian region, it was abolished and fell out of favor. Seeing it as an opportunity to strengthen status and prestige, select desirable women are presented as potential brides in exchange for favor-often something to elevate another.

Religion – The Vitharian are perhaps the most religious, with various clans frequenting the Pavilion of Prayers and various temples scattered throughout the empire large and small. However, they also tend to embrace and accept various forms of worship throughout Khaiperion. Devout in all that they do, prevalent forms of religion saturate their daily lives—the Sitriatic Faith, Gaianism, and various cults of worship and many more. Language – While the Asrian dialect is artful and musical—the Vithari dialect seems rushed and loud. Vitharians love to talk—and with surrounding themselves with so many people—they talk loudly. They are used to bustling in the city and socializing. They are exposed to the most languages and more apt to speak more than Vana’kata, Terric and Genesar—which is more than what most are capable of.

Arts and Literature – Much of the Khaiperian Empire’s architecture is attributed to Vitharian influences from centuries past. Wide, golden domed ceilings, brilliant bursts of color and aesthetic design all stem from the Vithari. Current architectural feats (The Imperial Palace, Kyrosian Consulate, The Pavilion of Prayers) all take local traditions and marry them to imported styles.

Khaiperian architecture is rooted in its history, culture and religion. When the Vithari and Asirians merged their dynasties for a time, it reflected in the regional style and continues to shine through today. Khaiperion architecture is known for its simplicity, visible logic and austere aesthetic, made rich by beautiful detailing, rhythm, and repetition.

The aisles and arcades, punctured by delicate niches, doors, and windows create space in which the articulation of open, semi-open and covered areas is effortless and enchanting.

The Vithari are leading the way in reforming the sacred texts of the Khaiperian Gods. Much of their work was destroyed following their enslavement to strip them of their cultural identity. With Raveena’s rise to power, their faith comes restored and they work tirelessly to recreate some of the richest documents of Khaiperian history to date.

Forms of Government – At its core, Vitharian Lords and Ladies have a history of tyranny in the name of religious reformation. Upon splitting from the Asirians, their dynastic rule crumbled over centuries into a federation. Despite adhering to a sovereign, they wanted to maintain their own internal affairs and have the freedom to do so. This ended abruptly with their ensuing enslavement and systematic dismantling of their culture and have since conformed to imperial rule under Raveena’s reign.

Economic Systems – Vitharians have remained cordial with the other four regional people; Despite the past of walling itself off economically, their economy is far more liberal today. They maintain the largest workforce of the six regional people and as such have largely contributed to Khaiperion’s stable economy post-unification. They are often outsourced for their architectural talents abroad and are responsible for the quick and efficient process of building cities within the Empire.

Ethnic inspirations: India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives

The Doji

Elements of Culture – A Closer Look at the Doji

Social Organization – Once the most isolated of the five great regions and family name, The Doji are arguably one of the most populated people—and the most archaic. Rooted deeply in discipline and traditionalism, the Doji have always favored a meritocratic outlook on their life. Largely a group-oriented society, a long-standing tradition of observing ethics encourage respect towards authority in every aspect of life. In similar fashion to the other regions, the Doji note age and gender difference in their culture—from language to behavior. Though it is not as rigidly enforced as it was in eras past, it’s still a prolific aspect of Dojian society today.

Considered family-like and keen to foster group solidarity, healthy relationships are encouraged along with respect, loyalty and discipline. Despite the hierarchy even amongst tribal families of the Doji name, there is great importance in fostering an egalitarianist social system as a whole. Throughout the years, the Doji have made a reputation for being proud military leaders. Indeed, some of the Khaiperian Empires most prominent Enforcers today hail from the Doji bloodline. The Doji’s origins came from an ancestral blunder that was marked to be carried for generations to come. As such, the Doji is paradoxical in that it seeks perfection with as few mistakes as possible.

The Kanzaki-shi, a clan infamous for the kidnapping of Empress Raveena in the wake of civil war when she was young, continue to be one of the most prominent Doji clans. Raveena officially instated the Kanzaki-shi as one of the five Khaiperian Imperial Families to carry on the traditions and teachings of the Doji region within the Khaiperian Empire and contributes her strong sense of duty and justice to their long-standing traditions citing, “When we first met, we were enemies. When we last parted, we were family.”

Customs and Traditions – Doji citizens value respect above all else. Like many Khaiperians, they are known to bow when meeting, greeting, and departing. The deeper the bow denotes the sincerity of respect. It is entirely acceptable for whole families to live together and for whole tribes to remain together. The Doji are known for various cultural holidays, particularly in the Renaissance of the Khaiperian Empire. To preserve their tattered culture and grasp the remains of their cultural identity, the Doji have gone to great lengths to ensure pristine education systems exist and are the largest contributors to colleges and institutes founded in Hyperion.

Upon renouncing their nomadic ways, the Doji settled into a clean, minimalist lifestyle. While the Khaiperian pantheon is recognized, the Doji believe in spirits of the elements and are the main driving force behind the elementalist magic that exists in the remaining Khaiperian Khaiperians. The idea is that the elements are alive and treated as a force of nature that may choose to assist them or not in the people’s day to day affairs, rather than being controlled and ruled over. Taking their duties and desire to hone their skills seriously, it’s custom for Dojians to choose a craft or skill and spend hours and days on perfecting it. In this regard, the Doji are highly competitive, and this competitive market has inspired healthy competition in various aspects of economic and social standing.

Religion – The Doji were the first to implement the ideals and teachings of Soshido (素子道)—the widespread understanding of the Khaiperian’s affinity with the elements. The Doji emphasized that the elements were very much alive and given their own personalities and will. It is their will that citizens must respect so that if we are ever in a time of need, that respect would be returned. There are many shrines dedicated to the various gods of the Khaiperian Pantheon, but just as many smaller and local shrines dedicated to other various spirits and minor deities. The Doji are also well known for incorporating their religious beliefs into their methods of combat, marrying nature and martial art seamlessly.

Language – Vana’kata is the mother tongue of all Khaiperians, though the Khaiperian people’s cultures have led to varying dialects. The Doji dialect differs in that unlike the other four cultural regions, their own regional language survived. Soshigo (素子語) is a complex language of honorifics that vary from subject to subject and thus express itself differently in varying levels of society.

Widely considered a beautiful, but complex verbal and written language, Soshigo may be native to the Doji, but several thousand citizens seek to study and master it as a second or third language next to Terric and Genesar.

Arts and Literature – The Doji are known for their elaborate garb and hairstyles, which vary from the Vithari. While the Vithari wrap their garb, the Doji are known for intricate layers of robes and sashes, ornate hairstyles and pins. This artistry and carried with them into the theater and arts where they are masters of puppetry, plays and are known for reenacting historical events.

In the tradition of honoring tradition, the Doji specialize in pottery and beautiful scroll work, importing silk from the Asir whose weaving is unparalleled. Dojian architectural aesthetic focuses on simplicity—use of the natural elements around them. Taking on aesthetic notes from the Vithari and their love of color and color theory—Doji’s aesthetic remains ever-popular and symbolic of their culture.

Forms of Government – Under Asirian rule the Khaiperian Empire’s rule remains strong. At the local level, there is an elected noble that acts as governor and assembly. These forms have limited authority over taxation and legal codes and act primarily as agents of the Khaiperian Empire. Smaller cities, towns, and villages have elected noble families. Municipalities also have limited autonomous powers and are primarily providers of daily services, which is also why the Doji have their hands in functions such as education and law enforcement. These functions are organized around these nobles (as each city has their own assigned forces) but are controlled or standardized at the imperial level.

Economic Systems –

Ethnic inspirations: Japan, Korea, China, Macau

The Dalaiyin

Elements of Culture – A Closer Look at the Dalaiyin

Social Organization Dalaiyin culture, like many others in Khaiperion, lean heavily into close knit family networks. Despite their elusive, nomadic values--it is well known and documented that the Dalaiyin value rituals in their everyday life. Even their greetings follow a ritual--the eldest first, and respectfully--the mothers secondly. Despite the deference for the elderly, there is very little social heirarchy aside from tribal lords and leaders.

Motherhood is seen a sacred position among the Dalaiyin. As the child-bearers, their childbirth pains are seen as marks of honor and hold a great deal of respect among society.

Customs and Traditions Direct and intentional in all that they do, the Dalaiyin are skilled survivors who flourish in nature. They travel with the seasons, their source of livelihood in hunting for food and in the throes of Madai's monstrous lands--for money. Gatherings for meals are uncommon--as there is always something to be done. As such, the Dalaiyin typically eat when they are able to, but seldom together as a unit.

Polyandry is a present but fading practice among Dalaiyin women, as many men seek to elevate their wives through. Though it is said the eldest male is the head of the house unless he is away. At which case the next eldest takes over until the eldest returns. Despite the proactive role of women, gender roles remain relatively conservative and traditional. Still, there is a great deal of individualism throughout the tribes.Individuals are expected to contribute their feelings, thoughts and views, as they may ultimately decide the fate of a tribe.

Religion - The Dalaiyin's earliest history shows that Vitharian and Doji rule over their territory greatly influenced their religious shaping. Shamanism and Soshido are the two primary religions worshiped throughout the Dalaiyin tribes, though polytheism is still prevalent. The Dalaiyin liberated themselves from outside political regime in a fiery bid for nationalism and were ferociously devout in their religious beliefs, seeking to indoctrinate others into the fold during their war campaigns.

That history was brief--but bloody-- before turning to more peaceful reverence as their numbers were greatly reduced to the remaining tribes that exist today. Temples often travel, though the occasional monastery has been built in their better established territories with shrines within the home to worship the gods and elements of their choosing the most common place of worship.

It is rumored that the myth of the Fujin Ryu among the Doji is also what led to respect and reverence to mothers. Like the Doji, the Dalaiyin refer to the Empress as the Mother of All in their native tongue, and is widely revered as a deity of motherhood within the Khaiperian pantheon

Language Dialects differ between the tribes, and often pull from from the Doji in that some dialects are more tonal than others. Their language generally has a complex syllabic structure and vowel harmony. There are approximately eight different groups left among the tribes, but as they flourish in their new home, the importantance of language and storytelling is passed to newer generations.

Arts and Literature There remains a strong folk art tradition across the Dalaiyin nation, particularly with textiles, embroidery, and other useful decorative arts such as carving, furniture and jewelry making. Dalaiyin art is almost exclusively inspired by nature, and favors using natural materials. As master storytellers, their written word is equally artful, and are responsible for the Empires most beautiful epics, poetry, dance scripts and plays.

Forms of Government These Khaiperians are the least politically active and attached to the Empire, though they still acknowledge Asirian sovereignty. Inter-dependent, tribal and shaman leaders are the main decision makers for the people. A council is formed from each tribe their own set of territorial laws as well as their united laws that affect all the tribes.

Economic Systems The Dalaiyin operate on a bartering system, but as the advance of Madai's corrupted leyline has increased the need for skilled hunters while simultaneously dealing with the threat of monsters invading their territories, a rudimentary economic system has begun to blossom with the most active tribes. As the furthest from Imperial reach, the monetary value is useless outside of Madai, but within the continent, coin is considered extremely valuable for merchants brave enough to travel to Madai with their wares catered to the tribesfolk.

Ethnic inspirations: Russia, Mongolia, Tibet, Tajikistan

The Ahkari

Elements of Culture – A Closer Look at the Ahkari

Social Organization – Akharian people are arguably one of the eldest of the five cultures and remain a mostly tribal society despite sharing universal culture. Many different citizens have their own subcultures they are involved with across the empire. Like many Khaiperians, the Akhari are very close knit socially. The concept of the family’s interest coming before one’s own self-interest is the core of Akharian society.

Most households are larger and may span across many generations. While being close knit, family matters are also very private, lest the family be shameful to other tribal families. Like the other cultures of the nation, the eldest have the most authority in decision making.

There are long-standing tribal clans that functions as communities within the empire. Many have their own land-holding rights while others continue the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Loyalty to the tribe is second to loyalty to one’s family. Many tribes follow the simplistic values of having the right to avenge any wrongs to their people, the right to grant sanctuary, duties of hospitality, the right to defend their land and property and the need to defend one’s family. Akharians have a competitive spirit to compete over land and resources as a result.

Customs and Traditions – Marriage is considered an important part of Akharian life to maintain peace among various tribes and clans that come together. Though arranged marriage is outlawed, matchmaking is widely popular. While other cultures indulge and take importance with surnames, they are not customary for the Akhari, and those who do it often ties them back to their tribal affiliation. Akharian etiquette is to be closely observed out of respect—particularly if foreign. While the Akhari people are often seen as insistent, it is part of their culture to make multiple offers, and it is polite to decline and then accept.

Despite their tribal ways, Akharians are very big on hospitality, where it is customary to have tea and sweets, as a reflection of a person’s behavior reflects the harmony of the family. Food is a communal practice, and there is always an excuse to eat well.

Religion – Akharian people are more spiritual than they are religious and hold a deep reverence for nature and the resources offered to them. Their connection to the leyliens of the land is not as potent, but they still worship and respect the elements and the magic that comes with it. Some tribes do worship or at least acknowledge the older gods of the Pantheon, such as Genos, Ratra, and Naeum. It’s not uncommon to leave offerings to spirits, or to have a shrine to the spirits.

Arts and Literature – The influence of the Akhari is often found in pieces of pottery and textile, throughout the architecture found across the Empire. They are known for their jewel tones in jewelry, ceramics, and artistic flow of calligraphy across scrolls and pressed papers. While closer to the Imperial cities, the clothing is far more lavish, those who choose their nomadic lifestyle on the outskirts of civilization make due through trading what they hunt. Long robes, vests, trousers, boots and sashes with their own unique stitching technique can be identified by the eagle eye of a Akharian seamstress or tanner. Like the other bloodlines, the unification of the Empire saw about a long period of encouraging the arts.

Though tribal leaders were not as keen, there were past Akharian rulers who made reading and writing readily available. The textile trade flourished as a result, allowing the Akhari something of a monopoly that still exists today. In the markets, you will find Akharian glassblowing and silverwork being sold at soaring heights for their unique craftsmanship and infusing of Vanakara. You will see their splendid architectural touch in palaces, shrines, and bathhouses.

Forms of Government – In its infancy, the Akharian bloodline held as many as eighty clans. Over the centuries, these have whittled down to as many as twenty to twenty five that are recorded, with many choosing to establish their own miniature societies rather than adhering to a tribal lifestyle. Many of these tribes had a hand in shaping the future of the Empire, roaming the lands as raiding parties, which many of the tribes are notorious for joining for the sake of survival. If asked, they are on the side of the winning.

Tribal laws are acknowledged within the Imperial border, though many maintain their own tribal sect, laws and hierarchy outside of those borders. Appointed tribal leaders often meet regularly within Daichi City to maintain a form of communication with the rest of the Empire to discuss supplies and needs, as well as changes of law, to sort crime and punishment, and to participate in Imperial celebrations.

Economic Systems – Many livelihoods rely on finessing visitors into purchasing their wares, or to barter for as-needed items. Within the regions prevalent to the Akhari, they have their own economy of using silver and specially colored porcelain tiles—each with their own set value, known as değeri.

Ethnic inspirations: Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia

The Zenyan

Ethnic inspirations: Nigeria, Egypt, Djibouti, Ethiopia