Salsolan Culture

» Hide «

» Policies
» History
» Culture
» Pack Projects

» Rank Portal
» Ranks
» Jobs

Joining Salsola?

Reading our introductory information is mandatory before attempting to join!

Click here to see our Adoptables!
The Thistle Kingdom (Territory)

» The Ruins
» Millstone Village

» Amherst
» Storage

» Stables
» Garden
» Clinic

» War Room
» Shrine
» Library

The Portland Outpost

The Fort Preble Outpost at Portland, Maine, is an important off-board trade destination for Salsola.

» Longterm aNPCs may eventually be moved here.
Membership Exclusives

» Hereditary Houses

» Factions


» Directory
» Residency

» Pack NPCs
» Member-owned Animals


» Anicombs
» Thread Prompts

» Pack Pride
» Pack Game

Quick Maps
Territory Map The Ruins Map
Contact & Links
External Links

MaintenanceSL ForumInformation PortalTwitter

Contact Us

» Pack Account — For all general inquiries, please PM the SL Pack Account.
» Leadership

Alaine (OOC & IC)Mel (OOC & IC)Songbird (OOC)


Salsola has its own Discord Chat! To be added to the channel, please contact Salsolan Leadership.

» Only players of active or aNPC'd Salsolans may join the Salsola Discord Chat.

Only Salsolan Leadership or approved individuals may make edits to this page.

Salsolan Culture, Traditions, and Laws

On this page... (hide)

  1.   1.  Founding Principles
  2.   2.  Culture
    1.   2.1  Salsolan Behavior
    2.   2.2  Prejudices and Predispositions
    3.   2.3  Trade
    4.   2.4  Religious Aspects
    5.   2.5  Mateship
  3.   3.  Special Events & Rituals
    1.   3.1  A Salsolan Wedding
    2.   3.2  Cotona
    3.   3.3  Cueponi
    4.   3.4  The Last Supper
    5.   3.5  Saturnalia
    6.   3.6  Strafethorn
  4.   4.  Laws
    1.   4.1  Punishments
    2.   4.2  Leaving Salsola

What is a pack without a culture?

For Salsola, this question unravels beneath the overabundance of culture it has; A burden of culture, almost, enough to fill a whole book, enough to make an individual's eyes roll back into their heads just for contemplating it. Sounds grim? Never fear! This handy page is here to help make things a little easier to comprehend.

If the vastness of this page is intimidating to you, you're not alone! But don't fret it - This is the culmination of almost a decade of existence on 'Souls, with huge influences from a number of IC events, characters, and players that have helped make Salsola all it is today. It's a lot, that much is given. But if Salsola is the right fit for you, you'll come to love it all in time.

If you think that there is something missing from this page, or that some of the information we have provided below is incorrect/outdated, get in contact with one of our friendly Leaders, and we will take care of it. Please do not make updates to this content without approval from Leadership first.

Other aspects of Salsola's culture not included on this page are: Familial Houses, Pauson Horse

Fun Fact!

Did you know that, in the beginning, Salsola was roughly themed off of a mix of Mafia-like ideas and concepts? Over the many years since its foundation, however, the pack has adopted quite a few Kingdom-esque influences. Even still, the Mafia undertone can still be seen in much of Salsola's culture!

1.  Founding Principles

Respect & Family

Respect is a major influence on daily Salsolan life, be it towards another member, towards one's self, or towards the Kingdom in general. The idea that the pack is a "family" also plays a vital part in Salsola's society.

Click for more...

Patriotism is expected of members where culture and values are concerned, as is respect and outward loyalty toward Salsola's culture and ideals (or, at least, the outward appearance of such).

Members are expected to work together as a cohesive group toward the shared goal of Salsolan prosperity, regardless of their personal or familial affinities and dislikes. Any Salsolan, regardless of status and rank, is better than an Outsider, after all. Members of the Family should interact with one another with respect and duty at the forefront of their minds — love and adoration of one another is unnecessary, but apparent devotion to (and ambition within) the group is expected.

Privacy & Public Image

Privacy is another important concept, and it is often tied hand-in-hand with preserving how one is perceived by others.

Click for more...

Saving face and maintaining a certain public image is a common practice amongst Salsolans, as the perception of one's status can oftentimes be almost as important as the hard work that goes into achieving it. Canines are ill-advised to blatantly slander any fellow member, especially if they are of a higher rank. However, quiet whispers, rumors, and private exchanges of information — false or true — are extremely commonplace.


Secrecy is the third most notable aspect of Salsolan culture, and is, perhaps, the most notable of what makes them who they are.

Click for more...

It is said that there is a second, secret conversation — one of insinuations and double-entendre — always running beneath the surface of any Salsolan's discussion. Keeping secrets, discovering gossip, and collecting rumors, are part of an ever-flowing undercurrent within Salsolan society, and extend well beyond its borders too.

When outside of the pack or dealing with Outsiders, Salsolans often maintain a certain level of anonymity; creating aliases for themselves, masking their scents, and/or otherwise hiding or denying their affiliation to the pack.

Some Salsolans, however, may find it more beneficial to live as an outed Salsolan beyond the pack's borders. Once one is outed, however, anonymity can never be fully regained — so choose wisely!

Salsola vs. Outsiders

The term ‘Outsider’ is used to describe any Luperci who is not a present member of the Thistle Kingdom, and is used in a derogatory nature. Members should strive for wariness and disdain of all Outsiders. Spying is a highly valued skill, and knowledge regarding Outsider packs or groups is an important commodity. Frequent or close association with Outsiders can be considered suspicious — those suspected of retaining close ties to someone unaffiliated with Salsola may be spied upon by their own packmates, in turn.

Click for more...

Salsola is not at all forthcoming regarding its own activities and inclinations to those who are not within their flock. As such, close sentimental relations with other packs are purposefully avoided. Nearby lurkers are frequently dispatched, and the pack has no tolerance whatsoever for trespassers.

Salsola is generally wary of inciting trouble against other strong groups, as it does not seek warmongering so much as it is power-hungry. Weak groups are perceived as potential prey, and may be treated (and persecuted) as such. Loners are openly derided as having no power — they have no group protection and no structure, and those who willfully choose a prolonged life as a Loner may be regarded as strange and distasteful to the typical Salsolan. Individuals should avoid causing issue with other packs without the blessing of the leaders — retaliation would be most unpleasant! Of course, if a member's actions throw no suspicion on Salsola (an individual's secrets can be kept secret by use of an alias, after all), the leaders are typically indifferent.

  • Note: Not all Outsiders are regarded exactly the same; see Salsola’s Pack Relationships for current standings.

2.  Culture

Note that some culture aspects and traditions are followed with greater devotion than others, and all characters (and their players) are free to chose the degree in which they follow or participate in these norms.

The technology of ‘those who came before’ (humans), civilization and Luperci-designed primitive technological methods are respected and desired within Salsola — artifacts, hunting/farming techniques, and other remnants of the distant past generally facilitate this new and grandly civil survival. Spying, fighting, and "survivalist" skill-sets are also well regarded within the Thistle Kingdom. Philosophical, scholarly, religious, and spiritual pursuits are respected and increasingly sought-after as the size and prosperity of the kingdom allows for greater specification in interests.

2.1  Salsolan Behavior


Superiors should demand respect; Subordinates should display it, especially in public. Salsolans traditionally refer each other by their rank. A first-name basis is often reserved for familiars and close others. To the wrong Salsolan, using one's given name without their permission can be seen as disrespectful or presumptuous.

Click for more...

Canine dominance and submission should be enforced, and failure to do so may give off the image of weakness. Not surprisingly, public humiliation of another canine can be used as a punishment by higher-ranked subjects to keep those beneath them "in line," however, such acts should be handled with care, as they can also backfire.

Example of Discipline — A light slap on the cheek is a prominent display of discipline, as it leaves no permanent damage but has a significant impact on one’s dignity. The slap is never violent or even forceful enough to hurt - a subtle, light tap on the cheek in the public eye from a higher-ranked member is incredibly shaming and is likely to result in temporary pack shunning of the slapped individual.


It is common for Salsolans to greet packmates by nuzzling or briskly touching one another on one or both cheeks with one’s nose. This greeting is reserved for those within the pack and is an allusion to the old human tradition of kissing on both cheeks.


Salsolans should be rather particular about introducing an Outsider to fellow packmates. If, for example, Jackal decides to introduce Wolf, a Loner, to his fellow Salsolan Coyote, the introduction differs depending on its purpose. (Show Examples)

  • Non-Recruit
If Jackal is simply seeking to make Wolf known to Coyote (i.e., Wolf is a personal friend), Wolf is introduced as "a friend of mine" by Jackal. This places responsibility for Wolf's behavior on Jackal, and lets Coyote know that Wolf will not be recruited.
  • Recruit
If Jackal is seeking to recruit Wolf (i.e., Wolf is a potential new member), Wolf would be introduced as "a friend of ours." This informs Coyote that Wolf is a prospective recruit and is responsible for his or her own behavior.
There is lingo befitting of usage of the Highroad. For example, should a Salsolan say to the sentries posted at the garrison: "This is our friend, I wish to take them along the Highroad", then the soldiers will know that the Outsider is worthy of the Marketplace. Should a Salsolan say to the sentries: "This is my friend, I wish to take them along the Lowroad", then the soldiers will know that the Outsider is to be robbed and/or accosted the moment they set foot on Salsolan soil.

Betrayal is an offense of the utmost seriousness, and may result in punishment. Obviously, the idea of betrayal applies only to the group at large — Betraying an individual is of individual concern, but betraying the Kingdom is of the highest severity. One may betray the pack in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Giving Salsolan secrets to Outsiders.
  • Purposefully giving relevant (not personal) false information to a packmate to undermine the pack.
  • Stealing from or damaging the property of the pack.
  • Causing severe, undue physical harm to another Salsolan.
  • Sexual assault on another member of Salsola.

Any acts such as these are liable to be heavily punishable, if discovered.


Bribery is an acceptable form of barter, and extremely commonplace within the Thistle Kingdom. If your character has wronged someone, attempting to bribe them with a gift or promise of service is a good way to avoid punishment. While it is not guaranteed to work, higher-ranking members generally enjoy being plied with gifts and offers. Bribery should never be blatant or over-the-top; To be seen bribing someone is to reveal your weakness to the onlooker.

Unfortunately, extortion and blackmail also inherent in this system — if the wrong Salsolan member picks up on some vital, unknown information, they could levy it against another character. This can result in the character having to give up time, items, wealth or even personal freedoms so their secret shames don't escape into the public eye.

2.2  Prejudices and Predispositions

Salsola is most often egalitarian with regards to species, age, and most other factors, but it does have some biases. Do note, however, individual members may not possess or engage in any/some of these prejudices.

  • Gender — Within Salsola, women and females are generally regarded as the superior gender.
  • Luperci — Non-Luperci are not permitted to join the pack. Being a Luperci gives clear and obvious advantages; one who would choose to reject these gifts can only be stupid or weak, and therefore unfit to become a member of the Family.
  • Able-Bodiedness — Handicapped, old, or otherwise "weak" canines are not altogether barred from joining Salsola, and may be tolerated if they have been born into it, but often have to carry a greater burden when it comes to proving their value and worth.
  • Puppies — The birth of children should be something celebrated by the entirety of the pack.
    • Puppies only have the blessing of Leadership when born to mated/wedded couples in the Family rank and above.
    • "Bastard children" are defined as children with undeclared bloodlines and/or children born out of wedlock. As a result, a bastard child — as well as their parent — may be viewed poorly by their peers for various reasons.
      • There are rumors that the Mafiosi will threaten drastic consequences on the issue of illegitimate puppies — e.g., abandoning them to another pack or even killing them. Of course, as children are an incredibly valuable commodity to Salsola, this is not the case. However! Bribery and underhanded methods of finding a place for one's illegitimate offspring are certainly accepted ;)
    • Children born and/or raised within an approved mateship/union or nuclear family unit are often viewed more favorably than those that are not, this includes even those of bastard status.
  • Mateship & Relationships — See our Mateship section below for further information.
    • Children — Because they are so prized, mated couples without offspring may be subject to various rumors, speculation, and/or have their relationship/union viewed poorly by their peers.
    • Divorce — is seen as dishonorable and disrespectful to one's partner, and commonly results in a negative public outcome for those involved — especially so if the mateship ends childless.
    • Adultery — Trysts and cheating are not uncommon, however, affairs are viewed poorly all the same, and can be humiliating or even punishable if discovered by the Salsolan public — so best keep them a secret ;)
    • Incest — these relationships are generally treated the same as any other. By definition, all relations are already incestuous: the pack is Family, after all. Do note, however, that close incestual relationships, such as parent to child or sibling to sibling (as opposed to the more common cousin x cousin), are frowned upon only in that they may create unfit heirs for the family line, or, weaken the general stock of Salsola. Such unions are generally best kept out of the public eye.
    • Outsiders — Fornication with Outsiders is extremely discouraged; anyone who engages in such an act should take care not to let the rest of the pack catch wind of it.
  • Substances — Members are free to do as they please on their own time, so long as pack duties remain attended to. There are no laws regarding mind-altering substances. However, excessive public intoxication or addiction is self-humiliating and defeatist. Members would be wise to avoid appearing in public when "trashed", or otherwise at a loss of their senses. They might humiliate themselves, and bring shame upon their House.
  • Family before Outsiders — It is a strong belief that the Family of Salsola (our goods, our wellbeing, our people, etc.) should come before that of an Outsider, and to do so otherwise may be seen as an act of betrayal.

2.3  Trade

Despite its wariness of outsiders, Salsola may make an exception for any worthwhile trade opportunity. Cunning trade ensures that the Thistle Kingdom continues to build upon its much hoarded wealth, and canines skilled in barter and merchantry may find favor within the Family if they utilize their skills with care. The pack is primarily concerned with getting the better deal in a trade, regardless of the other traders' disadvantage. Trading is highly encouraged both within the pack and between members and outsiders, and can often carry a competitive edge.
Click for more...
Trade Pact

In rare cases, Salsola’s leaders have been tempted enough by the great wealth of another pack to consider arranging a Trade Pact. This entails both Salsola and the other group promising to be forthright, honest, and open in their dealings, and is also intended to promote ongoing trade and access between the groups' members. Though the pact is intended to promote a healthy trade relation, Salsola is still self-interested at heart, and new leaders may not respect the pacts of the old.

Covenant of Salt

This ceremonial ritual is used only when sealing a formal trade pact between the pack and another large group: only the leadership ranks can perform the Covenant. The Salsolan representative takes a handful of salt, and passes half of this to the outsider, keeping half for themselves. The outsider and the Salsolan then press their palms together, opening them and allowing the salt to fall to the ground. The mixed salt renders the pact unbreakable: sorting out the grains of salt by owner is just as possible as breaking this pact.

2.4  Religious Aspects

Salsolans are not subject to mandatory organized religion. Religious ideologies are nonetheless a large part of Salsola, however, as evidenced by the respect given to those within the Sanctus Faction or the coven. Spiritual belief is considered quite a serious endeavor, as the ever-canny Thistle Kingdom does not wish to be on the bad side of whatever god/gods/powers may potentially exist. Members are quite free to practice their own religions and there is generally no obligation to partake in spiritual ceremonies, but it is encouraged — often times, rituals and ceremonies ordained by religious zeal are as much a ‘social to-do’ as they are a pious event. Diversity of belief can be considered to strengthen the whole of Salsola, enriching its culture and protecting it from the unknowable powers-that-be.
Click for more...
The Coven

Operating under no organised or recognized structure is Salsola’s very own coven of witches. The witches involved practice a great myriad of separate ideologies and pray to often-familial deities. There is no set religion that guides them, nor any governing body that controls their worship. However, the coven often comes together to form a cohesive collective of devotees, practitioners of the ‘Craft’ (the Craft being the term for magic, or magic-related works).

2.5  Mateship

Mateship is a sacramental rite, requiring "approval" as achieved via the wedding ceremony, in which the couple is blessed by the pack’s Crone (or in the absence of a Crone, one of the Mafiosi). While most mateships are the result of genuine, mutual attraction and romantic feelings towards one another, it is not unheard of for one to have a mateship of convenience, for a mateship to be forced upon someone, or, to have a mateship born out of political reasons, dealings, or desires to save face. Mateships can also be later dissolved, although, this is rather rare. Salsolans must be of shifting age to be wedded, and, therefore, have a mateship with another.
Click for more...

Highly uncommon, a betrothal is the planned mateship of two individuals as ordained by a member of the Mafiosi, a guardian or parent, or, even the Head of one's House. There are a number of reasons a betrothal may take place — it can be a useful tool for securing political alliances, to maintain control over unruly subjects, etc.. Betrothals are not a common occurrence, as it is not broadly liked by all members of the pack.


A rare phenomenon, Salsolans may choose to dissolve their mateship via a divorce, and may do so for a variety of reasons. In general, the act may often be seen as dishonorable and disrespectful to one's partner, and may result in a negative public outcome for those involved — especially so if the mateship ends childless. Ending a mateship must be cleared by the Mafiosi ranks if the individual(s) in the prior mateship desire to save face (they may even blame their mate(s) for the separation, resulting in singular demotion or further punishment).

OOC Notes
  • Characters intended to be official mates must have a wedding to be recognized and to receive OOC mateship hearts on their forum profiles and on the pack's rank portal.
  • Engaged characters will not be officially recognized as mates or receive mateship hearts until they are actually wedded.
  • Secret mateships are allowed, however, only those that receive an official wedding will be recognized by the pack and can receive mateship hearts. Offspring that are born as the result of a secret mateship will be treated as if they were bastards.
  • Betrothals...
  • ...must have the consent of all of the Players involved (to include those whose character(s) ordained the betrothal!).
  • ...between Bambinos are allowed, as are intended-betrothals between unborn children. However, these individuals cannot be wed until they have reached shifting age.
  • ...can be broken off or otherwise dissolved.
  • ...will not receive mateship hearts until they are officially wedded.
  • ...can be ICly announced to the pack in a variety of ways! Make use of the #rumors or #notice_board channels in pack's Discord server, make a thread, or, if a Last Supper is near, request for it to be said amongst the dinner's announcements!
  • not have to be public knowledge right away! For example, maybe the parents or a guardian kept it a secret that their child/charge was betrothed to another, resulting in some dramatic reveals or revelations later on! Or, maybe an individual spurns or is ashamed of their intended, and wants to push away the thought of being eventually mated to them for as long as possible.
  • You are only required to inform SL Leadership (via Salsola OOC Account) of a betrothal if you wish to request one or more of the following: if you wish for a member of the Mafiosi to ordain the betrothal, if you wish for it to be announced during an upcoming Last Supper.
  • Divorces...
  • ...must have the consent of all of the Players involved, and the Player(s) must notify the Salsola OOC Account with their intentions. Of course, divorces that are the result of an OOC conflict between Players will be accommodated and handled discretely and appropriately.
  • ...can result in the IC demotion of a single rank, an IC punishment, etc. of your character if you, their player, desires!
  • ...are usually quiet affairs due to the stigma that surrounds them. However, feel free to make use of the #rumors channels in pack's Discord server if you want to kickstart how the pack eventually learns that they're ex-mates!

3.  Special Events & Rituals

3.1  A Salsolan Wedding

↠ Event (Mateship)
Generally solemn, private affairs, mateships in Salsola are equally as often used as a means to bolster rank position or political standing within the Family as they are a traditionally romantic gesture between individuals. Following the wedding ceremony, couples usually publicize their mateship by hosting a celebratory reception. It is entirely up to participants as to how large or how small they want the wedding ceremony itself to be, with some couples opting for only themselves, Mafiosi, and the Crone to attend. Generally, there is a large amount of pressure for the entire pack to be invited to the reception held thereafter, however. It is encouraged to give gifts to a newly mated pair, to help them begin amassing their shared wealth (which in turn will be profitable for all Salsola). A wedding cannot take place until both members are at least of shifting age.
Click for more...

The participating members may wear whatever they choose, though, this is an ideal time to show wealth, rank, or family connections through the use of expensive materials and craftsmanship. Family bloodlines may have their own ancestral traditions as to what is worn.

The Ceremony

The wedding ceremony is generally a small and private event, comprising of the ceremony overseer/proctor (either the Boss or the Crone), the intended newlyweds, and a member of the Mafiosi. While family and friends may be allowed to witness the ceremony, only those that are very close or highly important to the intended newlyweds may be invited (the rest can attend the reception thereafter!). (Example Wedding Ceremony)

  • The Binding — Participants both provide a unique length of pliant material (e.g. leather, cloth, vine, chain, horse hair, plant material or fiber, etc.) to be woven together. This represents a joining of their union. The woven or braided material is used to loosely tie the couple’s hands together at the wrist during the ceremony. Local superstition holds that the union’s fortune is increased the longer their hands remain bound, though it is by no means a necessity, and the newlyweds are welcome to remove the binding at their earliest convenience post-ceremony. It is sentimentally common for the binding material to be later tied into a loop, bracelet, necklace or ornament, and either worn by one of the couple or hung on proud display in their home.
  • The Oaths — The overseer of the wedding ceremony will ask its participants to swear allegiance to one another, often with overtones suggestive of a greater loyalty to the Law and the Family. Often, significant items or words are exchanged between the participants. Depending on the piety of the couple or the religious affectations of the celebrant, a rite or prayer may be offered to bless the union and beseech fertility and prosperity upon the new family unit.
The Reception

Following the ceremony, a large and informal feast occurs in the Ruins proper, most commonly held at the Feasting Hall for convenience and size. This is generally something provided for by the family and friends of those participating. Some may choose to extensively decorate the area, intending to bolster the appearance of their household and names. Attendees are encouraged to bestow well-wishes and sometimes gifts upon the participants, for as in many things, gift-giving (i.e. bribery) is an essential part of Salsolan culture. Receptions are optional, and can be as large (with the entire pack) or as small (with only family and friends) as the newlyweds desire, to include the newlyweds not having one at all. Having been converted to a matriarchal rule under the reign of the First Queen, Salvia Eternity, Salsola does not adhere to some of the more archaic patriarchal traditions associated with primitive post-wedding receptions; Consummation is a private affair, and no proof of it is ever required to ensure the validity of the union. However, with plenty of drink often provided at the reception, well-meaning advice-givers and jokesters may use the opportunity to be as baudy and lewd as they dare, much to the embarrassment of the newlyweds. (Example Wedding Reception)

  • The Favor — One key cultural rite held at the wedding reception is the granting of the Favor. If they so choose to, the wedded participants may ask one favor/make one specific request of any attendee, often an individual in a higher political position or with greater personal wealth than themselves. Provided the request is not impossible, the individual asked is held to great pressure to agree to it. Whilst most often this is of no issue, it has yet to be seen how daring the Favor can get - the pardoning of a friend’s crime, the payment of a servant’s debt, the forgiveness of a family transgression, the possession of a fine horse, and the agreement of training or trade, etc. are normal examples.
OOC Notes
  • Please notify SL Leadership — Player(s) seeking to have a wedding for their Salsolans should send a PM to the Salsola OOC Account to inform SL Leadership of their intentions to do so. This is so that we can avoid any possible scheduling conflicts with other events, and will also allow us to add mateship hearts to your characters' forum profiles, as well as to the pack's rank portal. Please be sure to include a tentative date or date range for the wedding, as well as if you wish to have an IC thread for the Ceremony or not.
  • Promotion — If your character obtains a mate of higher rank, you get promoted by one rank (higher ranks excluded).
  • Wedding Threads — Whether or not you have IC threads for the wedding are up to you!
  • Ceremony — May be started by the Boss or the Crone, depending on who is available.
    • May be OOCly assumed to have happened. If this is preferred, please express as much in your PM to Leadership.
    • For speed and efficiency, it is preferred to keep these threads small; comprising of only the Boss and/or Crone, and the intended newlyweds. If "witness" characters are to be present, it is preferred for them to be OOCly assumed to be there, or, be limited to less than two (2) played characters. There should be no more than ten (10) witnesses total. Remember! The Ceremony is supposed to be small! Make use of a Reception if you want to celebrate the big day with more Salsolans!
  • Reception — Must be started by one of the Players of the newlyweds.
    • Can be Public (AW+ open to the entire pack) or Private (open to only certain characters).
    • Public receptions cannot be OOCly assumed to have happened. Receptions are optional to begin with, so, if you want a public one, make a thread!
    • SL Leadership will make an announcement in the pack's Discord server to help encourage participation for AW+ receptions only.
  • Favor Requests — If your characters are having a public reception and have a Favor that requires the IC or OOC approval of the Mafiosi or SL leadership, please include this request in your initial PM so that we may discuss it. Otherwise, if the Favor involves something with another Player's character, you are required to get in contact with that Player beforehand to discuss the matter. Regardless, keep in mind that Favors are optional, and are intended purely for in-game fun and flavor. As such, it is within their right for SL Leadership or another Player to refuse a Favor request made of them.

3.2  Cotona

↠ Ritual (Loyalty to the Pack)

Traditional Salsolan Sigil

The Hand of Eris

The Cotona ritual is a popular and common ritual by which members are marked with the Hand of Eris to prove their everlasting devotion to Salsola. The symbol is an old one with roots back to the foundation of the pack, and began with Eris Eternity. The mark stands for Salsola's protection and guidance in the individual member's actions. It acts as a visible reminder of their loyalty and the duty that comes with being in the Family. Members should desire to bear this pack symbol - it is an important part of becoming "Salsolan" through and through.
Individuals are free to choose the location of their marking, though it is often placed in a concealable area so that Salsolans can continue to disguise themselves and become anonymous outside of kingdom territory. Any experienced canine may perform the ritual, but it is the Segno's specific responsibility to do so (and one can only expect the neatest scarification when done by the Segno). Perfecting the mark through scarification may take up to six weeks, and the Cotona ritual refers to the entirety of this painful, repetitive process.
Branding is an acceptable alternative to carving for scarification purposes, and some choose to apply color via tattooing; this is also acceptable, and a much less painful option.

3.3  Cueponi

↠ Ritual (Coming of Age)
This ceremony graduates children from the Bambino rank into an adulthood rank, thus accepting them as a contributing member of Salsola. The ceremony can only be undertaken once the youth in question has reached shifting age. A child taking longer to ask for their Cueponi riddle may be seen as a sign of weakness or poor nature, so most children are excited to undertake their Cueponi as soon as possible.
After expressing their eagerness to complete their Cueponi rite, a youth is summoned by the Boss, who oversees this ceremony. This is intended to form a bond between the two, and ensure loyalty to both Salsola and its Mafiosi. The Boss must bodily inspect the Bambino, and ascertain their ability to shift into Optime form (which is associated with adulthood and capability). Should they find the youth acceptable, the leader grants them with a task to prove their worth. The Cueponi ceremony itself is given in the form of a riddle, and requires the hopeful-adult to deduce the meaning of the request before attempting the task itself. The riddles may have multiple answers and may be solvable in multiple ways.
Failure to complete one's Cueponi successfully (or at all) results in their relegation to the Associate ranks. Successful completion of the task results in their promotion to the Family ranks.
Click for more...

Bambinos that fail their Cueponi typically do so because one of the following IC reasons:

  • Refusal to do the Cueponi (but wanting out of the Bambino rank and/or the Mafiosi "forcing" them out of the Bambino rank due to age)
  • Failure to correctly solve the Cueponi riddle
  • Cheating (receiving help in actually solving the riddle)

In terms of how the coming-of-age ritual is completed:

  • OOCly:
Leadership and Player discuss if the Bambino passed or failed. Confirm any loose OOC assumptions to assume in regards to the ritual process. The Bambino is promoted to Family or demoted to Associate.
  • ICly:
Player/Leadership availability permitting, the ritual process can take place over as few or as many threads as the Bambino Player wishes. Some players like to have a played-out thread of their Bambino receiving their Riddle from the Boss. Some like to have their Bambino returning to the Boss with their Riddle answer in physical form. Some like to have both. Some even have threads where their character tries to solve the Riddle's answer, or, go about obtaining/making their Riddle's answer.
The total in-game/IC process can be as long (within reason) or as short as the Player wishes, though, exceedingly long or short turnaround times might be cause for IC suspicion or doubt. OOCly, the Bambino would be promoted/demoted after which they ICly return to the Boss with their Riddle answer (be it via an actual played-out thread or OOCly assumed).
OOC Note: Members of Salsola should PM the OOC Account to discuss the Cueponi ceremony for their Bambino characters whenever they choose to advance into Salsola’s adult ranks. NPC Bambinos may be automatically promoted into the Family rank (and presumed ICly to have successfully completed their Cueponi) at the age of one year. The Cueponi ceremony needn't necessarily be played out in its entirety: in the event that leadership or member are unavailable for threads, OOC assumptions are permitted.
Example Riddles (Show)
Riddles can be provided by Leadership for the Player/Bambino to solve, but, more often than not, they are provided (with the answer) by the Player themselves for their Bambino to ICly solve.
These riddles are examples and cannot be used for the ceremony, as they have provided answers.
- "Bring me death, that I may look on it without fear" (answer: a fossil, a human skull, a Luperci bone)
- "Bring me a living jewel" (answer: a peacock, parrot, lizard, or other brightly-colored animal)
- "Bring me a child of ice and fire" (answer: blue amber, a cat with a gold (fire) eye and blue (ice) eye, a red cold-water fish)
- "Bring me a godly voice, so that all my people may hear my summons" (answer: a horn, a crow, a loud musical instrument)
Example Cueponis (Show)

3.4  The Last Supper

↠ Event (Feast & Announcements)
Mealtime is taken together as a family approximately once every season — This particular event is dubbed The Last Supper (or more colloquially ‘The Supper’) by Salsolans. Depending on supplies and the necessity of news being passed along, the meal may occur more or less frequently. Attendance is expected; unless a character has a good reason for absence, s/he should attend. Repeated in-attendance for poor reasons or no reason can result in IC consequences.
Click for more...
Supper Hall

The Last Supper always occurs in the ruined Feasting Hall located within the heart of the the Ruins proper. A mix of different logs, stools, and other assorted furniture makes up the seating, which are often arranged to form one long formal table. As the supper typically occurs at night, torches, braziers, and candles provide lighting for the feasting pack. Servitori members can sometimes begin preparing for the feast a full week prior to the event if it is especially large and splendorous. Their tasks often involve curing meats and cooking or salting delicious banquet food, as well as assembling the necessary chairs, tables, fire-pits and cookery necessary for a smooth-running Last Supper.


The Boss sits at the head of the gathering, flanked by the Sotto Capo. Directly to their right side sits their second-in-command, a seat of honor that is significantly positioned as “the right hand of the Boss”. High ranks sit nearer to the leadership, and low ranks sit further away down the long table. If permissible by rank, mates often choose to sit across from each other at the table. Bambino are permitted to attend the Supper at any age, depending on their parents' wishes. Typically, children are separated from their parents, given their own small space. Some parents choose to keep their children close.

Servitori in attendance are not allowed to be seated, nor to partake of the feast. Some meals require servants to serve wine, hot spit-roasts or delicacies; Other times, servants are not permitted to enter the dining hall at all, and can only listen to the festivities from beyond the stone walls of the Feasting Hall. They are allowed to partake of the scraps left over to be cleaned up.

News & Procession

Business matters are never spoken while eating, as it is seen as disrespectful to the hunter/cook and the Mafiosi. Usually, before the feasting begins, the Mafiosi will share any relevant news and announcements with the pack, and, occasionally, they will offer a speech. Once the leadership has spoken, the rest of the pack may share personal news; And only after the Mafiosi has sampled the food, may the rest of the pack begin eating.

3.5  Saturnalia

↠ Event (Yuletide-equivalent)
The ancient Saturnalia festival of Rome honored Saturn (a major god presiding over agriculture and the harvest time). Salsola's version of Saturnalia has direct throwbacks to this predecessor, but has distinctive cultural differences in both practice and meaning. Though the weather may be frightful when the feast is celebrated, it is intended to bring joy to Salsola with the arrival and celebration of true, northern winter. Additionally, the feast's ritualistic aspects are intended to provide a fruitful harvest season for Salsola, along with general luck and bounty throughout the following year.
Participation in Saturnalia rituals are entirely voluntary - no canine is required to engage in any part of the festival, as is related to Salsola’s relaxed views on religious activities.
Click for more...

Saturnalia often begins with the ritual of gift-gifting. Though the gifts may be of a lavish nature, the object of Saturnalia gift-giving is to deliver the present anonymously. Various methods may be employed for this end — some canines may simply give their gifts as "the gift of a friend," refusing to verbally acknowledge themselves as the giver, whilst other canines simply drop the gift on a doorstep and scurry away. In more recent years, use of the festively decorated, Bojangles the Yuletide Yak, has been used to pull a sleigh of anonymous gifts to be delivered throughout the Kingdom. All in all, however, the method of the gift's delivery is up to the individual, but the intent is normally to remain anonymous and secretive!

Servitori Gifts – Saturnalia often coincides with Servitori receiving gifts: members of the pack may feel more comfortable giving anonymously to a servant. Servitori gifts are intended to thank the servant for their service to the pack, and may be of a practical nature (e.g., giving a carpentry-inclined servant some tools) or of a more generous nature (e.g., giving a servant some small new freedom they were not previously permitted).

Yuletide Yak — An alternative gift-giving method that features Bojangles the Yak. It was a tradition that was started in the Saturnalia of 2020 when the couple, Blanche Briarhart and Flint Gaumond, arrived in Salsola.
On the morning before before Saturnalia Eve, bells jingle down the snow-covered streets of the Ruins and Millstone Village. As Salsolans look out their windows and peek out their doors, they see a sleigh. It is decorated with garlands and brightly colored ribbons, and is padded with thick furs. It goes at a lazy gait, pulled by Bojangles the Yak, who is equally as decorated; with brightly colored fabrics, tassels, bells, and looping accessories capped onto his horns. Blanche leads the yak while wearing a wide smile, for, in the sleigh Bojangles pulls, there is a mound of packaged gifts; one for every Salsolan! Bambinos in particular should expect some extra little surprises; from tasty treats made by Blanche to simple, wooden crafts made by Flint!
While some may be anonymous — either part of the yearly gift-giving or unassociated with it — others have written senders, but, the one thing they have in common: They were delivered by the yuletide yak!

Saturnalia Eve is celebrated with a sacrifice. In archaic days of old, the sacrifice would have been Luperci in nature, and of virile age - e.g., not an old man and not a young boy, but of reproducing age and an adult. The ritual killing was performed in the usual public manner at the Stone Ship by the loch. In more modern ages, the Mafiosi have used superior livestock in place of a Luperci tribute. A crucial aspect to the Saturnalia sacrifice is the importance of spilling life's blood over holy ground. The sacrifice's throat is generally cut, and they are bled out over a stone altar. Unlike other sacrifices, this body is later buried in the bog and marsh of Salsola - 'given back' to the land.


Following Satrunalia Eve is the Saturnalia banquet! While held in the same hall as the Last Supper, this feast differs greatly from the "usual" celebration of Salsola. Displays of behavior normally unacceptable in public — overeating, sloppiness, and overeager drunkenness — are not only accepted, but, are encouraged during the Saturnalia banquet, which is a wild and free-spirited event. Salsolans are encouraged to have fun and revel in their membership within a strong, enviable pack. Canines of Salsola become more lax in their strict hierarchy roles during Saturnalia. Dominance and submission are minimized, and the canines feast together as friends and Familia, entirely forgoing any discussion of business or political-related topics. Servants are permitted to dine with the ranked members of Salsola, an event occurring only once a year.

Despite the event's lax nature, serious offenses committed during the festival are still treated as such - e.g., if someone attempted assassination of The Boss, the feast would halt, the killer would be strung up to die, and then the revelry would likely continue.

  • Lord of Discord
    The Lord of Discord is chosen from amongst the banquet's attendees by the Mafiosi. This canine is responsible for shouting absurd commands during the festival: e.g., instructing a canine to chug a cup of wine, or having a group of Salsolans throw another member into water. The role of the Lord of Discord is essential to the festivities, giving them an air of fun-driven chaos.
  • Banquet Servants
    While servants are permitted to dine with their masters, they are still responsible for food preparation, and must serve their debt-holder's needs during the feast. Unruliness from servants during the feast is moderate, at best - while a servant may joke more openly with his or her master, outright defiance and refusal of duties is still a terrible offense even during Saturnalia and can result in serious punishment.

The next day, the usual Salsolan roles resume, and anyone unable to leave festival mode behind is promptly snapped out of their revelry with a slap or two. Though Salsolans are encouraged to take everything said and done during the festival lightly, serious complaints may be brought to the Capo ranks over festival behavior. More often than not, though, it is simply a case of: What happens in Saturnalia, STAYS in Saturnalia!

3.6  Strafethorn

↠ Ritual (Punishment)
This ritual, while infrequently undertaken to show personal stamina, stoicism or pain endurance, can also be inflicted as a punishment on an unwilling individual. The pack-member in question wraps their arms with thistle or other thorny vines, then goes about their usual business, allowing natural movement to bury the thorns into their flesh. Salsolans will, in rare cases, perform the Strafethorn punishment of their own accord as a show of their loyalty, devotion, and piety in the face of continual pain and discomfort.

4.  Laws

Salsola's morality has always been rather flexible. Each situation is approached differently, according to context and value. While the pack preaches strictness and total adherence to law, in truth, there are always exceptions. Essentially, Salsola has no true moral code: members have the appearance of individual freedom. So long as they overtly adhere to the social mores and contribute to the pack, the well-kept secrets of their individual lives are of little concern. There are few, if any, firm "laws."

The Mafiosi is generally indifferent to transgressions against Outsiders; However, when possible, Salsola prefers to stand apart from conflict with other groups. Actions which cause or may cause group retaliation are frowned upon unless planned with Salsolan Leadership ahead of time. Basically: if you're going to act out, make sure you leave no connection to draw blame back to the pack!

4.1  Punishments

While there are varying ways for members to be punished (e.g. public humiliation like a slap to the cheek, demotion in rank, etc.), those below — while rare and/or very infrequently used — are some of the more severe. Salsolan members who have been accused of especially significant crimes may be brought before the pack in the form of a public trial.

  • Silencing — This is a brutal punishment, inflicted for revealing a secret or showing extreme verbal disrespect. The tongue is cut out of the mouth and leaves the victim mute. This is frequently inflicted on mouthy or disrespectful servants, and is a cruel tradition that began at the table of the first king of Salsola.
  • Strafethorn — The member is required to wrap their arms with thistle and other thorny vines, then go about their usual business, allowing natural movement to bury the thorns into their flesh. This punishment is generally utilized to prove loyalty; Occasionally, Salsolans perform the Strafethorn punishment of their own accord as a show of their loyalty.
  • Servitude — This punishment is generally reserved for Outsiders who are captured lurking on or near Family territory, or for those perceived as owing the pack a debt. It basically entails the offender being abducted into the Servitori ranks. In very rare cases, members of the Family may be punished with servitude by the Leadership.
  • Public Execution — While foreign enemies of Salsola may be executed in various places, some Salsolans found guilty of especially terrible acts/crimes may be brought to the Great Falls, where — after being publicly executed — their body is tossed over, and left to be forever trapped beneath the falls.
  • Manhunt — This is a form of sport for the elite canines of Salsola; Essentially, the release and then hunt of other Luperci. This is used for escaped servants and exiled betrayers. Occasionally, it is used to run failed Associates out of Kingdom territory.
  • Exile — Exile is a rarity. The canine is thereafter ostracized and shunned; Salsola members may not even acknowledge the exiled party's presence or existence if they meet in the neutral lands. Further offenses generally result in further punishment.
  • Pentiti — A step further than exile, only especially egregious betrayers are declared to be a "Pentiti." Salsola actively seeks retribution for the crimes committed by an individual labelled as a Pentiti. If a Pentiti is captured, they are put to death.

4.2  Leaving Salsola


Members are expected to retain membership for life. Leaving without notice is a major offense and considered a betrayal of the pack. Nevertheless, leaves of absence are sometimes granted - should a member feel a need to return to their homeland, they are sometimes permitted to do so. This is done with the understanding that they are to remain Salsolan at heart and someday return. Rarely, the leadership allows canines to permanently leave - this is typically done via exile.


Members are sometimes expelled for disobeying the cultural codes and stipulations. Dismissal may be violent and members ejected from the pack are treated poorly when encountered in the neutral territories. However, Salsola does not often bother seek vengeance on these former members, except in the event that they are on the run after committing a grievous crime, or are declared a Pentiti.

This all being said, OOCly, Salsola Leadership has no intention to hold your character hostage! If you are wanting for your character to leave Salsola entirely (especially if you desire a peaceful separation), simply send a PM to the OOC Account so we can discuss potential options for your character!

Back to Top of Archive

Category: Salsola