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Breton Society Part I, Through the Realms of Tamriel


Started by Harlwystyr
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Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Wayrest
Chapter III: Daggerfall
Chapter IV: Shornhelm
Chapter V: Evermore
Chapter VI: Farrun
Chapter VII: Jehenna
Chapter X: Breton Society Part I

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Perhaps the dominant characteristics of the citizenry in the kingdoms of High Rock are their contentedness with their realms, and the conviction that their individual systems of government are the best. This has often given us bretons a reputation for being elitists, believing other provinces to be inferior to our own, and less sophisticated. Even if this is far from the case with many bretons, to a small degree, that belief is grounded in fact, should one look closely at certain noble and royal houses.

Realms like Daggerfall and Shornhelm, for example, are rather old fashion in their ways of thinking, and so prevent overmuch lasting change within their borders. Again, the feudal patchwork of High Rock has not done much to improve conditions, and if these would organise under a single king, a strong central army, and content citizenry, they'd likely form a much more potent state.

Bretons are rather responsible citizens who take the issues of their kingdoms to heart and participate in community affairs, be they of grave importance, or light-hearted in the celebration of seasonal events. Each town and city in High Rock seems to have a strong sense of community that is difficult to break down, and this is one of the province's greatest strengths.

A different kind of strength can be observed in the nobles' conscientious devotion to the leadership and government they provide, and many see their role in High Rock as more of a duty to their countrymen rather than a right to inherited power. However, there's always the occasional rotten apple.

Another source of joy for the breton people is their level of civilization. They honour the laws of the land with a certain degree of compassion and diligence, but not so much so that criminals are set free without course or that prisoners fear for their lives when serving a sentence.

Some breton customs are common across all the kingdoms; others can seem unusual between the various nations. To better blend and gain acceptance, most visitors choose to learn the holidays and traditions of the individual kingdoms and try to follow them. Listed below are but a few of the customs I encountered in my travels in Daggerfall, so that the reader might get a general view of how traditions are seen in High Rock.

  • Men as well as women bow their heads to royalty. This appeared to be law that the people of Daggerfall enforce with visitors, regardless of who they are or who the particular royal person might be. The citizens of Daggerfall greatly respect their leaders, and often go to great lengths to impress this respect on everyone who visits their kingdom.
  • Burials are followed by wakes. In Daggerfall, as is also common elsewhere, death is seen as the end of a pleasant journey with the final destination being Aetherius. Certainly, various provinces have different burial practices - such as the entombment in the Halls of the Dead in Skyrim - but throughout Daggerfall is the belief that a wake should follow a burial. This is to both mourn the departed and honour Arkay at the same time, for life should be celebrated, and the festivities that accompany a wake are used to remind all how fortunate they are to be a part of Daggerfall.
  • Women who seek marriage wear trinkets - amulets, rings, and so on - dedicated to Mara, as is common in certain other provinces. Sometimes, however, they wear red-and-green scarves - another age-old custom of unknown origin. An explanation widely accepted is that when a woman desires a husband, she wears the colours of Daggerfall's banner to remind men of their obligation to the kingdom, to take a wife and increase Daggerfall's population. It should be noted that not all women follow this custom, and it is mostly related to women who consider themselves young and adventurous.
  • Guests in a home always adhere to the rules set by the household. When invited to an abode, the guest is responsible for making sure he does not upset the host's daily routine. The people of Daggerfall believe the home to be one of the most important places, and its maintenance is paramount to a family's continued happiness. Guests should not, therefore, do things that interfere with the host family's way of living.
  • Hunting on another person's land is forbidden. The population of game animals is sometimes scarce in certain parts of Daggerfall, and the crown closely regulates hunting, especially in the forests of Daenia. If this tradition is violated, it is seen as a betrayal of trust among neighbours. There have been records telling of individuals and families who have redeemed themselves by offering their local community a banquet and allowing others to hunt on their lands.

As for entertainment amongst the bretons of Daggerfall, much can be said. At the end of the day, blood sport and violence is not enjoyed, and so there's no arena in the kingdom, and entertainment is enjoyed around festivals, such as the highly beloved Flower's Day. Other holidays and festivals are also held in celebration of royal birthdays and religious events.

Most towns practice these festivals internally, especially the smaller hamlets and villages, where everyone has a specific duty to perform for the celebration. For example, some are in charge of decorations or food preparation. Held in great esteem are the people who can create elaborate banners, and these individuals are sometimes supported financially by the local town council so the person can work on new designs full time.

- From the Journals of Harlwystyr the Wanderer, Through the Realms of Tamriel, published in 2E 188.
This post was last modified: April 7th 2015, 11:45 PM by Harlwystyr
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Very well done, another great addition!


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