Callian Rise Alfar Culture
The culture among the Alfar who fled The Fall of Morata has remained similar in its core values to the ancient traditions of Morata. The young Alfar who have grown up in peace have brought new Cellian Culture to the old Alfar lifestyle and have liberalized many of the rigid customs, particularly religious ones.
The Callian Rise Alfar live integrated in the Cellian Empire and follow their laws and customs. However, the Empai recognizes the autonomy of the High Cleric to create his own laws to govern any Alfar within the Cathedral of the Sun provided that the High Cleric obeys the Empai and promises to defend the city when it is threatened.
The High Cleric is elected from among all clerics when the previous cleric dies. The current High Cleric, Marenas, is nearly 400 years old and has struggled to adapt to life in exile. He was in Shadow Lodge during the collapse, and fled when Bathud passed through his town. He focuses on laws to educate the young on religious traditions, to limit the influence of Zarodossa on his subjects, and to teach the artisan skills of the ancient generation before they die off completely. The Cathedral of the Sun is considered property of the High Cleric, who earns income from those living there.
The clerics are trained from any age by other clerics. After completion of their training, a cleric is given the ability to act as voluntary mediator of conflicts and is responsible for the health and welfare of their community. Most families and their friends have a cleric among their members, though these clerics often have jobs outside of their religious duties to help earn money. Clerics do not collect tithes or taxes from their communities.
Sun Knights are the blessed warrior paladins of Alfar society. Sun Knights, unlike clerics, do not often have day jobs to earn income. When Werex Bankasorabeau has been besieged in the past, sun knights are expected to join the defenders in defence of the city, and the death of a sun knight in battle is always followed with a sizable tribute of gold to the High Cleric. They are paid directly by their communities.
Nolaria Ball Players
The celebrated Nolaria Ball is a sport invented by the Alfar and played for the amusement of visitors. Wealthy Arcva and Ashanzu from across the empire visit tourist-attracting games in the Cathederal's court. The "home team" named the Radiant Rollers plays against the "visiting team" (which also lives in the Cathedral) named the Cellian Centiles. While alfar are welcome to watch the home team, the visitor seats are reserved for non-residents of the Cathedral. Newcomer teams are welcome to form and play games, but to become one of the standing teams you must beat that team.
Alfar adults are granted citizen status by the Empai once they reach 18 years of age. If they wish, they are welcome to leave the High Cleric's sphere of influence and join in the regular Cellian Lifestyle. Those who remain frequently live in large extended family units of 20-50 individuals, sometimes sharing the same pyramid on the cathedral grounds or the same housing complex outside of the grounds. When Alfar marry, they will choose a family group to be part of.
Alfar are considered very valuable slaves for their long lifespans and their high-quality work. The Empai has granted many rights to slaves beginning with the Poneius' Proclamation, including property rights, rights protecting them from causeless abuse, and the right to give birth to free children. Many young Alfar are approached for purchase for prices in the range of 500 or higher gold pieces. The disappearance of children to these offers is causing a great deal of concern among the elders, who are witnessing a generation choose luxury over their freedom.
Worship of Feyus is central to Alfar life. Prayers are said before most meals and are part of regular greetings between individuals. Artwork, clothing, and jewelry often features imagery of the sun, the sky, or the mountains, all which hold importance to the worship of Feyus.
The Alfar hold festivals at key points in the solar calendar, including on the fall equinox (Darken 1), winter solstice (Akaken 31), spring equinox (Zaroken 1), and summer solstice (Feyuken 31st). These festivals are accompanied by excessive music, dancing, drinking of fruit wine, and is often attended by non-alfar followers of Feyus. During these days, all work is forbidden.
The Last Light (20th Zastiken) is a day of celebration. Religious hymns are sung and a somewhat more tempered festival is held to show Bathud that the faithful have not given in to the darkness that grasps their homeland.
The Winter, 39th of Darken is a day of fast for the alfar. Alfar hold a wake for Feyus' defeat against the Archdemon Axxasto in their communities.
Historically, a cleric or sun knight would summit Jayenas Rise for a day and night of prayer in the waters of Jayenas Lake. Without this, the Alfar instead use a small spring in the Royal Hills east of Kavees, a cite of a temple raised shortly after the collapse. This pilgrimage has become very dangerous with the turmoil in Kavees, so most new Alfar never officially complete their training to become clerics or sun knights.
Alfar also aspire to make pilgrimages to the Neverdark, a cold part of southern Yakug where the sun never sets for weeks at a time during the middle of winter.
Although some have braved the journey back to Morata, the years have made these visits more and more difficult, and none have made it back from their old capital of Nolaria alive in more than 50 years.
The Alfar have gradually adopted a calendar that counts up from the collapse, with "year zero" being the fall of Alfaria, with Alyoza's arrival taking place in the year 7 and last contact with Nolaria in year 180.
Many Alfar have become very close friends with the Ashanzu in the capital, just as the sun knights did with those living in Jhier during The Cellian Wars that led to the creation of the Cathedral in the first place. These friendships often focus on the worship of the goddess Lesellia, a traditional friend of Feyus who joins him in the sky as the moon.
Worship of Lesellia is associated with the wines and many crafts made by artisans in the Cathedral. A yearly exchange of gifts takes place during the week-long Moon Festival from the 1st to 8th of Lesiken.
Alfar are social and friendly, tending towards good alignments. As part of living in the empire, they have become much more dependent on the laws of the Empire, though in many ways they have become more chaotic as the influence of living in large urban areas without the strict heirarchy of Morata. Among the marginalized members of society, including exiled Blood Knights and Shorn Knights, evil alignments are common.
Alfar clothing is often a way to express their personal preferences.
Alfar prefer to use faded green, blue, yellow, or brown colours. The use of red or purple is uncommon. Though traditional clothing was made from woven grass-fiber, the Alfar have become large purchasers of the high-quality linen and silk fabrics made on the south coast of the Callian Rise. Though they still dress sparingly, clothing is cheap enough that it may be hemmed for reasonable costs. Only a small minority of Alfar have adopted the toga as their preferred clothing style, generally among those living outside the Cathedral.
Alfar Jewelry is often glass beads coloured or painted, rather than small quantities of highly valuable gemstones. Feathers, flowers, and chalk are used to decorate the hair, which is kept as long as possible.
Some Alfar have begun to dress in styles that resemble the Ashanzu. They will decorate their hair with opaque scale-like headdresses.