• Lore • [Rharne] Lore

Information about the city of Rharne.

Here you can find all of the lore and information pertaining to Rharne and it's surrounding lands. Flora, fauna, general lore, faction articles and other pieces of information can be found here.

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[Rharne] Lore

Holidays
Festival of Lights: Though the trials are dark, Rharnians know that hope will always exist so long as there is light - and alcohol. This hope is symbolized on the first trial of Cylus when many Rharnians gather at the gates of Rharne to celebrate the "Festival of Lights". Each Rharnian brings an unlit candle or lantern and, at the 19th break, Thunder Priestesses/Priests make their way through the crowd to light the candles and brighten the darkness. A parade is then led by the Priesthood, starting at the Earth Quarter and ending in the Sky Quarter just outside of the Lightning Cathedral. It is often a noisy procession, filled with laughter and music and song. Throughout the rest of the season, the Lightning Cathedral keeps candles lit in the prayer space. It is the Cleric branch’s job to ensure the candles do not go out until the 1st of Ashan. Many businesses also keep candles or lanterns lit in their windows during this time.

Founder's Festival: The Founder's Festival typically takes place in the Glass Quarter during five trials in Ashan. These trials may vary from arc to arc, but generally occur during the end of the season when the weather is warmer. Stalls and tables are set for a public banquet, and a feast is held day and night for all five trials to commemorate the Immortal Ilaren and the founding history of Rharne. The Festival includes speakers from various factions and businesses, busker performances, storytelling, and plenty of alcohol. Local taverns also tend to hold a variety of fighting competitions throughout the city.

Ymiden's Rise: A parade to celebrate the season change is held on the 1st of Ymiden. It is led by members of the three core factions in Rharne and winds up the mountain from the Docks in the Dust Quarter all the way to the Sky Quarter, ending at the Lightning Cathedral. There is plenty of music, dancing, and laughter along the way, and citizens either join the parade themselves or throw flowers and rice at the marchers. Per tradition, the women wear bright beads and flower crowns, while the men wear colourful shirts and, often, beads of their own.

Buskerfest: Buskerfest is held during four consecutive trials in Ymiden. It is an event filled with performance, spectacle, stories, and comedy. During the four days and four nights, the streets in the Earth Quarter and Glass Quarter are lined with performers, including everything from musicians and singers to fire jugglers and acrobats to amateur joke tellers and magicians. Temporary booths selling a wide variety of snacks and alcohol pop up throughout the city, and traffic is slow to non-existent as spectators stop in the middle of the street to dance, laugh, or throw nel into hats.

Annual Beer Festival: The Annual Beer Festival spans 7 trials between the 45th - 52nd of Vhalar, during which all citizens (with the exception of those who work in the service industry) are excused from work. During the day, the streets in the Earth Quarter and the Glass Quarter are lined with booths of brewers sampling and selling locally brewed beers as well as merchants from all over Idalos peddling their wares. In the evenings, taverns across Rharne are filled with revelers. High Priestesses/Priests from the Thunder Priesthood faction often travel the city and encourage celebrations by sharing their Bottomless Wineskin ability from their Palenon blessings.

12 Trials of Zi'da: The 12 Trials of Zi’da is an annual celebration of family and friends that lasts from the 50th – 61st of Zi’da. The holiday allows Rharnians to show appreciation and gratitude for the people in their lives who have loved and supported them throughout the past arc. Each trial has a specific theme, and those who celebrate the holiday give their loved ones a small gift connected to the theme. Some choose to wrap the gifts, tag them with an identifier to show what date the gift should be opened, and give them to their intended recipients all at once. Other Rharnians choose to give and receive their gifts on a daily basis. During the 12 trials, the Rharne marketplace in the Earth Quarter turns into the “Zi’da Market,” and is filled with food, mulled wine and cider, and vendors peddling wares aligned to the themes.
  • 1. Dust: This gift is often something inexpensive and small. Usually a small bauble of some kind.
  • 2. Past: This gift symbolizes something from the recipient’s past. Often something sentimental or nostalgic.
  • 3. Grey: The gift is something grey. Often cloth or stone.
  • 4. Earth: This gift is usually something taken from the earth. Either something made of stone, clay, or for the more wealthy, marble or porcelain.
  • 5. Present: A gift pertaining to the present, and the relationship between the giver and the recipient.
  • 6. Green: A green gift. Often something simple like flowers or clothing. Some more extravagant gift givers may give jewelry.
  • 7. Glass: The gift of glass is often something made from glass, but it can also be something that is extremely fragile. Vases, jars, and stained glass are all typical gifts.
  • 8. Future: This gift is suppose to symbolize the recipient’s future in the coming arc. Gifts range from work supplies to nels to fare for a boat trip.
  • 9. Purple: This gift is an item that is purple. Often clothing or jewelry, glass or gem, the color of the purple is often the vibrant purple of the city’s flag.
  • 10. Sky: This gift is used to represent the sky. Oftentimes feathers from birds are made into charms, baubles, and jewelry. The wealthier citizens frequently import feathers from other regions, or rare birds - though a creative Rharnian knows that the sky’s the limit.
  • 11. Eternity: This gift is often given by more intimate couple and friends to show the strength of the relationship. It is often something that transcends the need for definition. Those who are more financially driven may decide to drop the deeper meaning and just buy diamonds.
  • 12. Blue: This gift is blue, though like the sky it can range in color from the softest of periwinkles to a vibrant cerulean to the darkest of navies.
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[Rharne] Lore

Marriage & Divorce
Marriage in Rharne is a celebrated event. Rharnians marry for a wide variety of reasons, not least of which include power, loneliness, and love. Choosing one’s own partner is encouraged and arranged marriage is uncommon, though not unheard of - particularly among the wealthier merchant families whose bloodlines have been tied to Rharne for generations. Partners of the same gender are legally allowed to marry, though they may experience some prejudice from visitors to Rharne and a few of the more socially conservative citizens.

Most Rharnians practice monogamy, but the practice of polygamy is not strictly forbidden. Both men and women have the freedom to take multiple wives or husbands. That said, polygamy tends to be enjoyed solely by those who have more than enough wealth to support a large family. The majority of Rharnians believe that taking more than one partner is not worth the financial (or the emotional) trouble.

A marriage is considered one of the most important reasons to celebrate and throw a party. It is custom for the families of the soon-to-be partners to pay for the booze-filled event. More than one Rharnian has been known to go broke thanks to an open bar at a son or daughter’s wedding, as it is considered an insult to ask guests to pay for their own drinks.

Weddings tend to be treated as civic events, where the partners submit documentation for their intent to wed, signed by the couple and two witnesses, at the Council Hall and then throw a reception for their friends and family afterwards. Rharnians who prefer to add a religious element may choose to get married at the Lightning Cathedral or at a local church. These weddings are typically officiated by a Thunder Priestess from the Cleric branch. The religious ceremonies are usually more formal, with women wearing a purple dress and men wearing their best attire, while the civic ceremonies tend to have a much more relaxed and casual feel.

Once legally wed, married partners have a right to their significant other’s possessions and property if he or she were to die, unless the deceased’s will indicates otherwise.

Divorce is legal, but uncommon, in Rharne. Should a married couple wish to divorce, they must file for divorce at the Council Hall. If the divorce is mutually agreed on, it can take between thirty to ninety trials for the Council to provide their signed approval. If only one partner files for divorce, he or she is allowed to immediately separate from his or her partner, but must wait up to one arc before the process is completely signed off on by the Council. This is to ensure that the decision is not made rashly.

An individual may not remarry until their divorce papers are approved by the Council.
word count: 488
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[Rharne] Lore

Food
Most Rharnians have a varied palate, and few openly call themselves picky eaters. As a trading city, Rharne has a rather varied cuisine, with restaurants near the ports serving food from just about any major city in the world. The closer one gets to the center of the city, however, the more one will come across Rharne's native cuisine. The major staple of Rharne’s native cuisine, aside from the perpetual presence of alcohol, is bread and cheese. The soil around Rharne is well-suited for growing wheat, and the local cows and goats produce milk that's infinitely more suitable for cheese than it is for drinking.

Alcohol is the most common fixture at tables in Rharne. While Rharnians don’t tend to be picky about their food, they are much more demanding of their drink. A bad beer or wine is considered an insult, both to the person drinking and to the Immortal Ilaren. As such, the people of Rharne will go to absurd lengths to avoid producing a bad drink, even tossing out entire barrels if they find it subpar.
word count: 201
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Music
To a born-and-bred Rharnian, there is nothing better than dancing to great music - except, perhaps, for dancing to great music while drinking a truly exquisite beer. Like most everything else in Rharne, the music of the city is extremely varied and comes from nearly every corner of Idalos. But aside from its diversity, what Rharne is best known for is singing. Singing is a highly valued skill and a good bard will never have difficulty finding work. It is not uncommon for men and women alike to often test their talents in bars and taverns after a few drinks. While most times these songs end with laughter and jest, skilled voices have been known to move these establishments to silence on multiple occasions.
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Language
Common
Common is the official and most popular language in Rharne, as it unites the city’s many races. That said, each race tends to speak their native language when surrounded by others of their own race. For example, the biqaj population prefers Rakahi to Common when speaking amongst themselves. However, there is a specific regional dialect that is uniquely Rharnean.
Gernevoir
An old language once spoken by the tribe that originally settled in Rharne. It has survived through wine-soaked texts and the voices of the people who have stubbornly embraced their native status as Rharneans through the years. It had since fallen into disuse in recent decades, given the openness of Rharne to the world. Yet, with the recent, large influx of refugees from Quacia, Rynmere, and other places after Vhalar 721, more Rharneans have tried to hold onto what identifies them as uniquely Rharnean.

Given that, scholars, nobles, and commoners alike have begun to revive it. It's taken on prominence with those who hold Rharnean pride in high regard. And though those who cannot speak it are not looked down upon or shunned as such, those who do speak it are able to deal easily with the more culturally sensitive Rharneans. The Language Loyalty Salary bonus applies to threads set from Rebirth 722.

The language isn't likely to be learned in an academic setting. It's found in wine-soaked notes pinned to the walls of taverns, in the raucous cheering of Rharneans brawling in the streets, or calling someone out to fight. It's become widespread enough by Rebirth 722 that people will begin hearing it more and more spoken by Rharne natives.

The Rharnian accent is easily distinguishable and quite obvious to those who are visiting Rharne for the first time. It has a slow, yet deliberate, speed, with a hint of cadence to the speaker’s words that makes them speak in an almost melodic fashion.
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Attire
Rharnian attire varies depending on the different areas of the city. For those living in the Dust Quarter, which is the poorest section of Rharne, attire mostly consists of rags and threadbare or worn-out clothes. If a resident is lucky enough to own shoes, they are almost always in a severe state of disrepair.

The Earth Quarter attire is a step up from the Dust Quarter. The residents of this section of the city often wear clothes made of humble materials - wools, cottons, and leather. They have tend to have fewer outfit choices, and dress in whatever is most comfortable for their daily lives and jobs. Colours tend to be muted browns, whites, and grays. Jewelry is popular in this Quarter, though it is most often made of cheap materials - bronze, inexpensive beads, and coloured rope and string.

Most of the city’s wealth is found within the Glass Quarter and, as such, the clothing choices reflect this appropriately. Clothing within the Glass Quarter has the greatest variety, and materials range from the affordable (leathers and cottons) to the extravagant (silks and gems). Colours are brighter, and jewelry tends to be made of silver or gold. Fashions from the furthest corners of Idalos can be found in the streets of the Glass Quarter.

Since the Sky Quarter is the home of the Lightning Knights’ barracks, most of this Quarter’s residents tend to wear some sort of armour - even when off-duty. Light armour is typically paired with finer clothes for the warmer seasons and for formal events, while heavier armour is worn on-duty and during the cooler seasons. Some of the most influential merchant families can also be found in the Sky Quarter, and they tend to dress most similarly to the wealthiest residents of the Glass Quarter.

It is not unusual to find both men and women wearing pants as a consequence of both Ilaren’s own clothing preferences and the practicality involved in navigating the mountainous city. Most Rharnians, regardless of their gender or wealth, tend to dress casually and comfortably unless the occasion calls for more formal attire.
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Rituals
Candle Lighting: When attending the Lightning Cathedral to pray to Ilaren, patrons will find many alcoves filled with tiered tables of candles. Although there are many different thought processes behind lighting a candle in a temple, cathedral, or other place of prayer, citizens of Rharne hold a special idea about candle lighting in their hearts. It is passed down from Priestess to Priestess that each candle is a symbol of hope. When a candle is lit, the person offering their prayer to Ilaren places hope into the little flame.

To light a candle, the person must borrow a little hope from another candle. This strengthens the prayer by compounding the hope from previous prayers and patrons. It is strictly forbidden for a Priestess or another patron to extinguish a flame from an existing candle. The flames are allowed to run their course, exhausting the hope on their own by burning through the wick and wax on their own.

There is a rumor that the original prayer candle still burns to this day, as a way of keeping eternal hope alive. Only the Matriarch would know if this rumor were actually true. Even if it is not, the belief is too powerful to douse, so many allow it to linger as a rumor. [Ritual Credit: Zvezdana Venora]

Death: When a Rharnian passes away, their loved ones make a point of celebrating their life rather than mourning their death. The deceased is placed on a decorated funeral pyre, which is then lit on fire and sent out onto Lake Lovalus. Afterwards, their loved ones throw a party in remembrance of the deceased. Beer and food flows freely as stories, both affectionate and humorous, are told about the deceased’s life.

Rite of Passage: The Pilgrim’s Ascent is known as a rite of passage for young Rharnians. When a Rharnian turns 16, their friends often celebrate the occasion by getting them drunk and encouraging them to climb the long staircase leading from the city gates at the base of the mountain all the way to the Lightning Cathedral at the top. The poor souls who attempt the climb are known as Pilgrims.
word count: 377
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Symbols
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Rharne's Flag: Rharne’s flag was developed by the Council during the 512th arc as a widely recognized symbol of the city for merchants and traders to carry with them on their trading vessels.

The purple represents the core colour of the Thunder Priestess faction, the gold represents the Merchants Guild, the circle split into quarters depicts the Four Quarters of the city, and the hand holding lightning bolts symbolizes the Lightning Knights and their allegiance to Ilaren.
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Education
Rharne is heavily focused on tradesmanship, military, and religion. As such, schooling in Rharne is not mandatory, not public, and not free. Many young Rharnians apprentice within their family’s current trade or attempt to find an apprenticeship elsewhere. Those who meet the age requirements also have the option of joining the Lightning Knights or the Thunder Priesthood. These apprenticeships often teach the key skills needed to be successful in society, especially applied literacy and math.

That does not mean that structured education doesn’t exist in Rharne, but it comes at a cost. There are two ways to gain a “higher degree” of knowledge: through the use of personal tutors or through the Guild’s College. Personal tutors are individuals with specialized knowledge who sell their services as teachers for a fee. The Guild’s College uses a classroom approach to teach a structured curriculum, with classes that tend to consist of about twenty students per subject. The College is open to any who can afford the fees. Merchant families often send their children to the Guild’s College to learn, to socialize, and to build strong networks.

When a family is satisfied with what their child has learned through private tutors or the Guild’s College, the child typically goes on to take an apprenticeship, work for their family’s business, join the Lightning Knights, or join the Thunder Priesthood.
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Employment
Thanks to the frequent parties that often continue into the early hours of the morning, the typical Rharnian work day begins at the 10th break and finishes at the 18th break - though there are some that work later than others. That is not to say, however, that Rharnians do not have a good work ethic. The vast majority are diligent in their trade, and it is the rare Rharnian who will miss work because of a hangover (though that is usually more a matter of pride than fear of reprisal). Rharnians are very much aware that the nel is what makes their world go ‘round. When the nels stop flowing, so do the kegs.

There is no standard work schedule and the trials off work are frequent, if scattered. It’s rare to see the entire city working at once. This is believed to be part of the reason the city always seems to be so energetic, because those off work are busy enjoying themselves and their excited and joyous energy overwhelms the quieter energy of those at work.

Most people with steady well paying jobs live within the walls of Rharne. The higher up the mountain one lives, the more well off they are assumed to be. Rharne does not require its citizens to be employed, though only those with employment live within the Earth, Glass, or Sky Quarters. The unemployed or those who are barely scraping by live in the Dust Quarter. The Earth Quarter tends to house those in the lower end of the service industry, stablehands, blacksmiths, and competent craftsmen (among others). The Glass Quarter is often home to merchants, business owners, expert and master craftsmen, and those in the higher end service industry. Finally, the Sky Quarter houses those working in the Lightning Knights faction.
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