Ethnicities of the Imperial Race - Cultural Diversity
Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:53 pm
In the previous forum this discussion was mostly about the visual appearance and possible head variants of Imperials depending on region and subrace. We should maybe use this new thread to primarily discuss cultural aspects.
Infragris wrote:Before we get too far in this, I think it's worth reiterating that the Imperials should give the impression of being a united people, with many regional differences, but a solid foundation of shared cultural beliefs. That is how they manage to rule an Empire that spans the known world, after all. Some differences between groups are perhaps best left alluded to, like the Velothi underclass in Morrowind.
That being said, these are some possible options:
- Colo-Nordic: pseudo-Nordic upperclass, descendants of Nordic mercenaries that came to aid the rebellion against the Ayleid. Nordic chieftains and warriors were given large stretches of the western frontier in reward. Even today, the rulers and nobility of Colovia are mostly Nordic in heritage (not in race), while the common people are more likely to be Nedic or have but a little bit of Nordic blood. The situation is similar to Saxons and Britons in medieval England. Colo-Nords hold to some of their old tradition, "Nordic Virtues", and the worship of Shor - as a matter of fact, they sometimes tend to be more "Nordic" than the average Nord.
- Colo-Nedic: descendants of a large group of "tribeless" Nedes who, after the Rebellion, moved west. Intermarried with Nordic footsoldiers and today make up the majority of Colovian commoners.
- Pre-Colovian peoples: Orcish settlements and "Nedic" people who were culturally distinct from the Nibenese tribes, and lived in an uncomfortable peace with the Ayleid. Pushed out into the northern deserts by the Nords, where they were subsequently exterminated by the Redguard invasion. Still, traces of Pre-Colovian or even Orcish blood can still be found in the Colovian population, where they are regarded as marks of shame.
- Colo-Redguard: mix of Colovian and Redguard customs, mostly in Sutch. After initial hostilities, the Cyrodiils became friendly with the Redguard fast, and took many customs from them - such as the tradition of Arena fighting.
- Heartland Nibenese: the mainstream of Niben culture, descended from the various Niben tribes. The Niben is an urban, cosmopolitan region, so I would say most of the tribes have merged completely, save perhaps for locally powerful clans, like in the Imperial City. In practical terms, the role of tribal affiliation would be filled by religion, with the Totem-societies. Heartland Niben includes the Lake Rumare and the banks of the river on either side.
- Blackwood Nibenese: rural natives of the vast eastern marshes and wilderness. A mixed bag, the remnant of older tribes who, like the Kothringi, never really identified with the Imperial project, and various groups who were pushed out of Niben civilization, such as cults who started getting too weird even for Niben standards. Insular people, who live in isolated villages in the swamp and avoid contact with the outside world.
- Akaviri Heritage: mostly coincides with the status of Battlemage or Niben aristocracy. These noble families have a Tsaeci ancestor somewhere, dating from the era of Reman and the Potentates. Niben aristocrats take special pride in this, and often affect certain "Akaviri' customs, like Tsaeci theater, philosophy or architecture. Tsaeci blood usually manifests as a complete lack of body hair for both sexes. Other than that, the only physical mark is a typical criss-cross tattoo pattern on the cheeks, meant to imitate scales. Very conservative, and opposed to the younger aristocracy of merit that has arisen under the Septims.
- Ayleid Heritage: for most Imperials, having an Ayleid ancestor is merely hypothetical, as the blood has been so diluted that it leads to no notable traits save perhaps a certain aptitude for magic. The Imperial attitude to the Ayleid is complex: despite the years of slavery and rebellion, early Imperial culture is very much indebted to the Ayleid civilization, and people sometims look back on the great Ayleid civilizaiton with reverence and affection. Some peole with Ayleid blood dabble in Ayleid Revivalism, claiming that stories about torture and slavery were fabricated by the Empire, that the slaves had it good under the Ayleid, and that the greatness of Ayleid civilization should be renewed.