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CULTURE & RELIGION
There will be a heavy emphasis on culture within the duchy. As the architects of our setting, we will have the opportunity to create a world built upon a unique history where ancient things can be introduced to make that history tangible. Collectively, this history serves as a foundation for developing our stories and traditions — what we generally call lore — all of which adds a sense of realism to the world.
Our goal therefore is to create a setting rich for storytelling and to encourage players to act and be involved in ways worth commemorating. Paintings, sculptures and even monuments may be erected as tributes to the deeds of players in this way. We also hope to foster the cultural attitudes of the duchy through regular in-game events.
THE VANITY FAIR
The Vanity Fair is a player exposition that originated within the Vale of Vainglory, the ancestral lands of House Kymerion. Often called The Honor Fair among those born outside the Vale, it is an event dedicated to the celebration of beauty and achievement. At its heart however, the Vanity Fair is understood to be a contest through which the individual qualities celebrated by Kymerion lords are encouraged and rewarded.
Contests in the fair range from combat to crafting to the arts, and as the most prominent social event of the octennial (every 2 months Earth time), nobles and aristocrats, gentry and commoners are all invited to attend the spectacle of the fair. Citizens from across the duchy come to fashion a name for themselves, and while participation always raises the profiles of the participants, the worthiest of contestants — those who demonstrate something remarkable — can earn a tribute from the Duke and Duchess.
We are especially interested in architecture in Thorne. We strive not only to build beautiful cities and towns, but also high functioning ones that can sustain growth over time. While we cannot dictate how people build things or what they choose to build, we do have some basic guidelines in mind that serve as a good basis for building beautiful cities and spaces, which we will go into more detail elsewhere. Here’s a quick overview.
- Order & Variety
- Signs of Life
- Orientation & Mystery
- Scale (Height)
- Make it Local
Stylistically, we want Thorne to be a marriage of strength and beauty. It is a mix of the old with the new. And we sincerely hope to be able to see this reflected in the architecture of our settlements so that it can shape the character of the duchy.
SYMBOLS & ICONOGRAPHY
Every culture venerates imagery and creates its own symbols. From the most primitive tribes to the most advanced civilizations, symbols have always had a deep meaning and represented our connection to things that are important and valuable to us. Within Thorne, the most prominent symbols are rooted in our lore and form the basis of our own Trinity – the Flame, the Lion and the Rose:
- The Flame
The flame symbolizes the force of creation and the perpetuity of our spirit across the many lives we inhabit. Culturally, it is used in various forms throughout the duchy to promote a sense of unity, allowing settlements to establish some connection to the greater whole.
- The Lion
The lion symbolizes strength and pride. Culturally, they frequently adorn the tapestries of the aristocracy and nobility and of aspiring artisans consumed by vanity and self-perfection.
- The Rose
The rose symbolizes beauty and prosperity. Culturally, they are often planted within public and personal gardens to express the power of life and its dominion over death.
The most common depiction of the Trinity of Thorne takes the form of a rose wrapped around a fire-breathing lion. This depiction is frequently found in works of art throughout the duchy, from jewelry to paintings to sculptures, and is used as the seal of the Duke & Duchess of Thorne.
It is our expectation that tribes at launch are at their most primitive states and thus the starting point of their cultural evolutions, not the end point. Consequently, we expect that much can be done to change tribes over time.
For the most part, we intend to be laissez faire in our approach to the cultural evolution of tribes in Elyria, with one exception: the Kypiq. Should we have a significant Kypiq presence within the duchy, we would like to orchestrate a managed evolution of the tribe toward a more Elven-like culture. This is predicated on ultimately transforming the tribe into a Neran/Kypiq hybrid where Neran styles can be integrated with Kypiq affinity for nature and trees.
TEMPLE OF THE SUN
What was once a Wonder of Elyria and an active temple many centuries ago has now fallen largely into disrepair and neglect. It is believed that the temple was once home to a cult dedicated to the worship of Daemon, which revered the Sunstone as a holy relic imbued with his spirit. What became of the cult remains a mystery to this day, but their disappearance has been linked to the disappearance of the relic.
Today, the Temple of the Sun stands as tribute to the past and is merely a shadow of its former glory. What lies within – or beneath – is the subject of a lot of local gossip, and adventurers who have traveled there have often never been heard from again. Whether that’s because of the riches they discovered or their untimely demise, nobody truly knows.
ROLEPLAY IN THE DOMINION OF THORNE
Roleplaying isn’t just a word we use. If you’ve read this far, then you can probably tell that we have a lot of ideas and that we like to focus on storytelling. All of our ideas ultimately revolve around creating opportunities for players to interact with one another and play their roles.
So, if you want to tell an epic story, go out and perform epic deeds. This is the style we intend to promote. While tavern roleplaying is a perfectly acceptable way to engage with others, playing your role in the world instead of talking about it can lead to more natural roleplay and a more real and fulfilling experience overall.
The Dominion of Thorne Discord