New Caledonia Culture
Oath of Fealty
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New Caledonia has embraced the many cultures of its people. Many of its founding members have brought with them diverse backgrounds and stories that the High King believes will make them stronger. In New Caledonia the Clans have been eradicated, though many from the old country continue to carry with them the strong ties to the Clans and the religions of their forefathers.
The King has attempted to restore civilization into his new realm, and has elected for a Court System inspired by the times of their bygone age — the Court of Dusk and the Court of Dawn.
New members have brought New Caledonia a plethora of inspiring new cultures which only serves to inspire the realm. Often times, Iomair will refer to their weaving cultures as The Loom, each tradition and story woven together to create the noble tapestry that makes New Caledonia so fine.
New Caledonia values achievement through hard-work and survival. In the new realm many members are eager to bring their traditions forward to contribute to what has become the cultural tapestry of New Caledonia. Mastery of their co-ranks, advancement through the ranks, and creating relationships with other members of the realm are all looked upon with favor.
Traditional as well as contemporary styles can be found on the Fashion page.
In Old Caledonia, clans sometimes participated in arranged marriages for the betterment of their family's station. In New Caledonia this tradition has largely been ignored or forgotten. A marriage in New Caledonia is typically considered a love-match and is inclusive of all sexualities and preferences, though tradition restricts marriages to pairs. A polyamorous relationship would be considered taboo in New Caledonia.
It is possible to "marry up," and should a marriage transpire between a member of the Malcrin and Sitsina or Enda, the Commoner will automatically become a member of the Nobility (Malcrin) as an Aear.
In New Caledonia, weddings are considered a joyous occasion to be celebrated with great glee. As the Realm’s population grew, so did its need for traditions that are rooted in the ways of old and new. The bonds of marriage are considered sacred, and Caledonians place a strong emphasis upon communication and honesty. Some couples may consent to utilizing a Heartward together or alone, so long as it is not done in a deceitful way or that their use by either party is not hidden.
It is common for a gathering to happen in advance of the wedding in order to assist either the bride or groom in dressing or celebrating their last night "solo."
On the wedding day, a cherry tree near the City Square is the backdrop for the ceremony. Each couple that is married elects to tie a set of rings to the tree to symbolize the joining of their hearts and families. Ceremonies are often adapted based upon the couple's level of traditionalism, but many of the themes remain the same.
The ceremony itself may be presided over by a high-ranking member of the Court of Dusk or Dawn, a Priest or Priestess, or the Valar. During the ceremony, lovers bind themselves to one another using a pre-selected piece of cloth from New Caledonia’s Dye Studio. Couples may elect to recite their own vows, or have oaths spoken on their behalf. Wedding ceremonies are often followed by a night of raucous celebration in which everyone participates and congratulates the newly-wed couple. Gifts may be presented, but are not a requirement.
The Malcrin are expected to attend all weddings in their finest garb. Garments are often decorated specifically for the wedding that they are attending by members of the Dye Studio.
Divorce is frowned upon though has been known to happen. Caledonians are encouraged to have their own feelings about it. There is no divorce party or ceremony.
Show Weddings of New Caledonia
New Caledonia is made up of a mixing pot of cultures and stories, and it is expected that those who choose to make their home here contribute in kind. When outside of the pack Caledonians are expected to represent appropriately and bring honor not only to their own name, but to the name of King Iomair and the Realm at large. New Caledonia is not a secretive group by nature, though visitors are expected to adhere to the packs rules while within its borders.
Whether the parent of the youth chooses to undergo this rite is up to them, though it is encouraged. When a child first shifts, they are presented with a necklace of a simple wooden unicorn. The wood that the charm is made of depends upon what season the shift occurred in: birch for winter, cherry for fall, maple for spring and black oak for summer.
Upon reaching their first year, the newly-fledged adult will be given a second charm, this one representing their potential profession. The second charm is often presented by the child’s parents or a member who is practiced in their desired skill.
There is no formal ceremony for presenting the necklace, though families may celebrate the event in their own way.
Any abuse or murder of pack-mates will not be tolerated. Any crime that is reported to Iomair could invoke the Shadow Council. Some criminals are banished while others are forced to become a part of the Underthing.
Essentially an anonymous jury, Shadow Councillors are chosen by the King in times of strife to pass decrees upon reported crime, which includes voting to banish members to the Underthing. Because they are asked to remain anonymous, it's difficult to surmise who is on the council at any given time -- which leads to games among the nobility to ascertain who could be watching. Some members pretend to have previously been on the Council to improve their station.
The Clans are fiercely proud of their heritage and have traditionally worked independently from one another to further their causes. Since the election of King Iomair they have been forced to work together to ensure the future of their people. Prior to the Kings election, the clans had been split for as long as anyone can remember. The gods of Aegas and Menel are considered new, with gods that evoke imagery of nature such as the mountains, sun, and moon. Taur and Lorn’s are considerably more ancient, and are often represented with a wild or feral edge that connects them to an older time.
They worship a dual god/two-headed god who represents the sun and the moon. Their leader is typically nonbinary. They have eagles, horses, and tend to roam the open valley. Half of the clan rises with the moon and the other half rises for the sun. Menel are known as clever traders, and while they openly trade with all other clans, they are selective about who purchases their wares.
They worship an iron god. Aegas are known for sturdy types, and have traditions based in stonemasonry and smithing. They had a forge built into a mountain in Old Caledonia where they worked in and worshiped their god. Iron-working is tantamount to worship, and is considered both a blessing and an homage to their god. They value certain body types (regardless of sex) and are typically very serious and dutiful folk.
Both Taur and Lorn used to be one clan. However, over time their differences, namely squabbles over territory and resources, as well as key disagreements over the worship of the clan's god, drove an ever-deepening rift into their once whole society.
The first of the four, the denizens of Taur were well-known for their reverence of the natural world. Their ranks played host to hunters and gathers, druids and greenseers, and featured more than a few accomplished archers. United by their faith in one of two Wild Gods the druidic people of Taur prized long hair in all genders. To cut one's hair was seen as sinful, signifying a severance from the natural cycle, and so was oftentimes used as a punishment by their priests. A notable trade partner of Taur were the Aegas clan who often provided them hand-forged blades in exchange for food and pelts.
Noted fisherfolk and skilled craftspeople, the people of Lorn were prized for their mastery of the rivers and streams that ran through their home. Founded as a divisive branch of the clan Taur, the riverfolk fashioned themselves a new god from the heart of the Verdant Stag: a goddess part fowl, part fish that thrived in the silt beds of their beloved river. As an act of attrition many of clan Lorn cut their hair to signal the final divide between the two clans, though it did not continue into tradition. Fueled by conflict the clan swiftly placed emphasis on the beliefs and customs that made them unique in order to further distance themselves from their Taur brethren. And so they often turned to the clan Menel to ply their trades. That being said, unions between Taur and Lorn are not unheard of and there are those that still mourn the rift between peoples.