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The Esrova Court

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  1. VOLUME II ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 13TH DAY OF WZUVAR AG BYVCA OF 513 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ In the wake of recent research by the Office of the Wardrobe into previously uncovered jewels and precious stones, the Office, under the patronage of Queen Amaya of Venzia, deems it fit to present a Compendium of Haeseni Gemstones. In recognition of the sheer vastness of Haeseni culture, this grand undertaking will be organized into distinct volumes, each dedicated to revealing the diverse meanings and symbolisms woven into the jewelry of the Esrova Court. Subsequently, these volumes shall serve as repositories of the history, traditions, and cultural nuances associated with each exquisite gem. The pages of this publication will unravel the unique stories and context behind each jewel, illuminating the depth of meaning they carry within Haeseni life. The Office of the Wardrobe takes great pleasure in unveiling the second installment of this compendium, which shall showcase the next eight gemstones. In doing so, it endeavors to provide an exploration into the interplay between Haeseni culture and the resplendent jewels the Haeseni have recently adorned. With this, the Court offers a glimpse into the timeless allure and significance of Haeseni gemstones. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I Bolite is a stunning deep blue, its crystalized form found rarely and only in small amounts. When found, it is in a cube shape, ranging from indigos to a blackish-blue in color, and translucent or opaque in nature. The gemstone is associated with healing, namely in healing afflictions, such as chronic illness. Furthermore, Bolite is believed to provide confidence when worn, allowing them to do something they were unable to before. What is interesting about this particular gemstone is its rarity. Rare in of itself to find Bolite naturally, it is rarer so to find cut Bolite and rarer even then that to find faceted Bolite. In the Haeseni culture, it is compared to that of meteorites in its rarity. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II The Tanzanite gemstone is known for its trichroism, namely in that it appears alternately in blues, violets and shades of burguny depending on how the gemstone is oriented. The gemstone holds multiple meanings and beliefs, more even then the colors it holds. It is believed to stimulate perception and intuition, in turn aiding one's vitality. It is said it is good to wear when needing something calm and soothing during difficult situations. Overall, it symbolizes transformation and wisdom. An interesting fact about Tanzanite is that when it is made into a wedding ring, it takes on an entirely different meaning. It is believed to imbue the couple with eternal truth, honesty and knowledge. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III Iolite can come in two different forms, the first being primarily purples, ranging from violets to lavenders. When angled a certain way, it can appear almost yellow-brown. The second form it can come in is blues, mainly a blue-gray that when angled can appear yellow in color. Iolite is transparent, and can come in any and all shapes. This gemstone is believed to have the ability to guide the lost home and to connect the living with the dead. Furthermore, it is believed to strengthen eyesight, to promote pure thoughts, intuition and self-acceptance. A gemstone heavily associated with clergy and particularly pious individuals. An interesting tidbit about Iolite is that it is believed that one should not wear it when going to sleep - not that anyone should be wearing jewelry when sleeping - as the belief is that the sleeping individual will find themselves lost. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ IV Celestite is a delicate sky blue in color, with a luscious luster to boot. Found in geodes in small amounts, this gemstone is gentle and delicate in nature, formulating into elongated crystals when found. This gemstone is gentle, and with a soothing energy. It is believed to aid in tuning into oneself and needs, providing an inner peace and tranquility alike. It is highly recommended to those seeking quiet and an uplifting energy. Celestite is not only delicate in appearance but in nature, due to its properties, this gemstone will crumble apart when wet, and thus those who wear it must be careful. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ V Tourmaline is typically found in not one color, but several! Elbaite is the name given to the most brightly hued tourmaline. These gems are found in cylindrical clusters, several colors blending to form an ombre from top to bottom. Blues, greens, pinks, purples, and sometimes even yellows or oranges can be found. The most commonly found elbaite is dubbed the “watermelon tourmaline”, due to its green and pink ombre. Tourmaline is said to bring reconciliation, peace, and healing. For this reason, tourmaline is often given to those the gifter wishes to reconcile with, or to mend a damaged relationship- or simply to let another know that they are forgiven. Due to such symbolization, it is renowned among diplomats and peacekeepers. It is interesting to note that “watermelon tourmaline” can also exude youthful energy. One who wears it may be regarded as a child of the summer - a compliment, especially during the characteristically bleak Haeseni winter. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VI There are many kinds of agate- moss agate, flower agate, and fire agate being among them. For this publication, however, we shall focus on Queen Amaya’s favorite; the fire agate. Fire agates are rather dull and unassuming at first glance, though once polished or cut, they are dazzling! Slightly iridescent, the stone shifts through reds, oranges, yellows, and even greens! Forming in somewhat bulbous shapes, the natural curve of the gem creates waves and rings of those shimmering shades. Fire agate, as the name implies, is said to represent warmth and passion. Those that don the gem may see themselves as caretakers, or protectors. Gifting another this stone is a sign of trust and respect, as well as thanks. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VII This stone is a rich blue in color, with specks of glittering mica forming stars throughout it- like a midnight sky. These specks are often gold, but can be silver or brassy as well. For longer than anyone can remember, lapis has been worn to fend off evil, seen as a stone of protection. It is also said to defend the wearer against deception and lies, dubbing it the stone of truth. Lapis, when ground into a powder, is sometimes used as an eyeshadow. This practice is said to make one more perceptive to lies. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VIII The Morganite gemstone ranges from soft pastel pinks to vibrant oranges. It forms naturally as crystals, shaped in a hexagonal prism fashion, the gemstone relatively flat overall. Morganite is associated with innocence, sweetness and with the ability to attract one’s soulmate and deepen personal relationships. All in all, it symbolizes unconditional love and compassion for one’s fellow person. To encourage new relationships, it is believed that wearing Morganite on your left hand is the way to go. When wearing this, it is recommended to pair it with Lapiz, to protect from oncoming negative relationships. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, qnd Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera Her Ladyship, Ofeliya Fabienne Weiss, Assistant to the Mistress of the Wardrobe Her Ladyship, Aveline Kazimira Kortrevich, Assistant to the Mistress of the Wardrobe
  2. A DISPLAY OF HAESENI ARTISTRY ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 17TH DAY OF MSITZA AG DARGUND OF 511 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ In the spirit of victory and the recent surge of wealth that has blessed our beloved kingdom, Her Majesty, Queen Amaya of Venzia deems it fit to gather the citizenry of Hanseti-Ruska and its allies to revel in the artistic talents that enrich our lands. The festival will showcase the finest works of artisans, craftsmen, and jewelers, highlighting the unparalleled skill and creativity that flourishes within our borders. To commemorate this joyous occasion, the Queen seeks the collaboration of skilled jewelers in a recruitment effort for the esteemed Esrova Court's Office of the Wardrobe. Any degree of participation in this endeavor will not only contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our Kingdom but also provide a unique opportunity to showcase one’s exquisite creations to a discerning audience. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Her Ladyship,, OFELIA FABIENNE WEISS, Assistant to the Mistress of the Wardrobe
  3. VOLUME I ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 12TH DAY OF JOMA AG UMUND OF 510 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ In the wake of recent research by the Office of the Wardrobe into previously uncovered jewels and precious stones, the Office, under the patronage of Queen Amaya of Venzia, deems it fit to present a Compendium of Haeseni Gemstones. In recognition of the sheer vastness of Haeseni culture, this grand undertaking will be organized into distinct volumes, each dedicated to revealing the diverse meanings and symbolisms woven into the jewelry of the Esrova Court. Subsequently, these volumes shall serve as repositories of the history, traditions, and cultural nuances associated with each exquisite gem. The pages of this publication will unravel the unique stories and context behind each jewel, illuminating the depth of meaning they carry within Haeseni life. The Office of the Wardrobe takes great pleasure in unveiling the inaugural installment of this compendium, which shall showcase the first eight gemstones. In doing so, it endeavors to provide an exploration into the interplay between Haeseni culture and the resplendent jewels the Haeseni have recently adorned. With this, the Court offers a glimpse into the timeless allure and significance of Haeseni gemstones. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I The Opal can come in a range of colors, from hues of purples to reds. As much as its color ranges, as does its meanings and uses. It is said to represent love and passion, a gemstone perfect for use by the married couple as when worn, it brings about loyalty and faithfulness. It is rumored to bring about a clear head, to aid in disease prevention and to act as an emotional stabilizer. This gemstone has come to be associated with Queen Amaya herself due to her frequent usage of the stone throughout her reign, alongside married couples and the closest of friends. Because of this, the precious stone has since come to symbolize hope, purity and truth. The Queen Amaya is said to favor Fire Opals, the stone a fiery red with orange hues, perfect to represent her Ezrova Courts, her warmth, and the flame of her hearth. The Fire Opal in particular represents passion, excitement and creativity. Furthermore, it is said to give the wearer confidence, as any courtier - or royal, may require. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II Jade is prized as one of the toughest materials, the gemstone said to be tougher than steel and supremely durable. Though usually found in green colors, it sometimes comes in pink or purple hues as well, and the gem hosts an almost translucent appearance. Jade is said to bring luck and wealth to the wearer. Some say that wearing a jade ring will bring money into one’s hand. It is strongly associated with the nobility, and in some cases is considered a protector of the generations to come. In this way, it has become a symbol of prosperity. Not only for use in jewelry, jade is used in some musical pieces and instruments, such as chimes or a gong. It produces melodic tones and is said to be pleasant on the ear. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III Tiger’s eye is a dazzling result of petrified wood, creating rings and stripes of almost metallic, glittering golds and browns. As its name implies, Tiger’s Eye is favored among warriors and fighters, representing bravery, honor, and strength. Though usually formed in shades of gold and brown, the stone may also be found with streaks of red, blue and even purple. It is extremely rare to find a variant Tiger’s Eye entirely one color, almost always having at least a few bands of gold and brown. The blue Tiger’s Eye variant has several other meanings. Donning a similar appearance to the Evil Eye, which is said to provide protection from evil, this stone is said to represent similar values. Thus, the blue Tiger’s Eye has become a symbol of protection, as well as serving as a ward against evil- and those that may do the wearer harm. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ IV With origins of centuries past stored within its crystal case, amber is not just a gem, but a piece of history- a window to another time. Amber is usually worn as beads or pendants, not usually being cut into any certain shape, and is said to bring a long life when worn. Being one of the few stones created through organic biological means, amber holds a definite representation of time. Often worn by scholars and historians, the gem is said to sharpen the mind and memory. For yellow amber, these meanings are even more pronounced. Aside from these implications, amber is also said to represent confidence and courage. Green amber, on the other hand, symbolizes new beginnings, as well as a journey of self discovery. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ V The sunstone can come in many a color, ranging from oranges, yellows, reds and greens. It hosts an effect called aventurescence, namely that when peered upon, the stone seems to shine with a metallic glitter. The stone is said to be one to represent leadership, promoting a mental clarity and benevolence. It is believed to inspire joy and openness, believed to symbolize blessings and used most prevalently by those seeking to be or are already in leadership positions. Amidst the varying sunstones, there is one of rarity, the rainbow sunstone. It is a rare combination, holding a lattice with reflecting red copper throughout. Much like its brethren, it represents leadership but furthermore it is known to reflect willpower and inner strength. It is said to aid in opening oneself to give without fear. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VI The coral used in jewelry making is called precious coral, and it isn’t hard to see why it is called such. Coral takes on a beautiful orange-pink, shifting through shades of peach and cherry red. Coral is one of the few organic gemstones, as they form from nature and life itself. Similarly to amber, coral is said to bring a long life. The crystalline form of coral originates from the ocean, making it one of the most difficult gems to obtain due to the current Haeseni climate and location of the Kingdom’s capital city, Valdev. However, with fishing rods and a bit of luck, bits of coral may be brought up from the Balianese ocean that many Haeseni merchants frequent due to the formation of diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Balian. Another way to gather coral is to trade with communities of Polyps, caretakers of the Aevos coral reefs. By helping Polyps care for their home, they may sometimes bring up precious coral as thanks. In light of this, coral has become a symbol of friendship and loyalty, as well as trade and alliances. A gift suitable for a friend, or political ally. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VII A truly dazzling stone, Alexandrite does not stick to one color. In fact, it shifts between many. In some lights, the gem appears to be a royal purplish pink, though in other lights or perspectives, it took on a vivid cyan. In places with little lighting, the material takes on quite a dark blue hue, akin to a sapphire. Being a rather rare stone, Alexandrite is rarely seen, though in recent times has become a staple in a certain scholar and socialite’s wardrobe. Lady Aveline Kortrevich associates this shifting gem to represent adaptability, as well as a kind of beauty she dubs “peculiarly pretty.” A stone that celebrates the beauty of being different. In this way, it has become a symbol of confidence. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VIII Bismuth, in its crystalline form, stands as a truly unique gem. When bismuth is heated, it shifts into a crystalline form that boasts colorful patterns and shapes entirely defiant of the traditional gemstone. Instead, it hosts a kaleidoscope of vibrant greens, purples and blues. The crystal’s shape adopts sudden slopes or ridges, offering the gemstone a unique and similarly visually appealing appearance. Looking past the visuals of the gemstone, the Bismuth Crystal is seen as a stone of transformation and a catalyst for change. It is believed to aid in releasing negative emotions and aiding in the positive, helping with mental stress and one’s own spiritual growth. The Bismuth Crystal has begun to grow associated with those seeking a new start in life, individuals seeking some form of something new and those wishing to carve a name for themselves in history. Lady Ofeliya Weiss would be seen donning this unique gem sometime before this Compendium was published, believing in its ability to stimulate energy, aiding in achieving her goals as well as enhancing vitality. The Bismuth crystal, mirrors the uniqueness inherent in every individual within our Kingdom. In this way, it has become a symbol of transformation and growth. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera Her Ladyship, Ofeliya Fabienne Weiss, Assistant to the Wardrobe Her Ladyship, Aveline Kazimira Kortrevich, Assistant to the Wardrobe
  4. A CELEBRATION OF GOOD TIDINGS FOR THE TUVMAS SEASON ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 20TH DAY OF WZUVAR AG BYVCA OF 509 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ TO CELEBRATE the season of Tuvmas, and honor our bravery in the fight against the evils of the heretical Veletz-Stassion alliance. Queen Amaya of Venzia has impressed upon the Court her wish to host a most extravagant ball, that we might all take leave to celebrate family and those of most companionable friendship. In addition to the proud noble houses of Hanseti-Ruska, the stalwart soldiers who continue to define our peace are, as always, welcome with open arms and personally invited. THE COVENANT and all those within its borders are welcome within the Esrova Palace’s halls. Servantry of courtly refinement will be providing a selection of lavish refreshments and food, with a special focus on Haeseni cultural cuisine and universally favored Tuvmas delights. Honored guests are welcomed to introduce those of Esrova’s Court to their own season’s cultural treats. This festive occasion will take place upon the 17th eve of Jula and Piov. The overseers of Esrova Prikaz bid all who attend a warm welcome and Godly blessing. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera Firress, DEIA, Royal Artist of the Esrova Court, Handmaiden of the Queen Firress, SERMI ULVEYN, Royal Bard of the Esrova Court Firress, LAELIA, Handmaiden of the Queen
  5. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ HAESENI CUSTOMS - VOL IV GAMES AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 21st DAY OF TOV AG YERMEY OF 507 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ THE HAESENI PEOPLES DO NOT SUFFER IDLENESS, and, even when huddled around the hearth in winter-bitten months, or on candlelit evenings after the long work-day, have found ways to entertain the heart and mind. Games and contests are among the most lively fruits of Haeseni culture, and a diverse selection of popular and noteworthy results of this gamemaking tradition is documented in this treatise, produced under the patronage of Her Majesty Amaya of Venzia. THE CONTINUITY REPRESENTED BY THESE TRADITIONS is immense. Many of these pastimes have endured for centuries, bringing joy and fostering friendship for the Haeseni in times beyond the memory of the living. It is the hope of the authors of this work that chronicling their natures and histories will secure them such that all coming generations may share in their warmth. GAMES AND REVELRY ARE A STEADY CORNERSTONE of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. They have kindled comfort in times of tumult, tightened the bonds between companions and enwrapped the nation in a spirit of liveliness and vigor that characterizes its people. In reading of them, one reads not only of the products of a resilient and inventive culture, but of a fire that has illuminated the Haeseni throughout their history. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I CREATED BY KING ROBERT I ORIGIN First publicly played at the foot of the Krepost in Markev, Haeseni Chess—skasyat in New Marian—was formalized by King Robert I in 231 E.S., when he published a rulebook to codify the increasingly popular game. Played by between two and four players, the core of the game is in navigating four pieces clockwise around the game-board and into a “home” area, all while avoiding being overtaken or cast out by another player’s pieces.1 HOW TO PLAY 1. Each player takes a side of the board and is assigned four pieces accordingly, all in an “out” area. 2. Throwing a six-sided die in turn, each player advances a piece of their choice forward by the result. 3. A player may move one of their four pieces from the “out” area onto the board’s “start” field if a six is cast; they must use their turn to move any pieces in the “start” field if there are still pieces in the “out” area. One variation of the game states that a player has three attempts to roll a six on their turn if they do not yet have a piece in play. 4. The pieces move clockwise around the board, the objective being to send them to their player’s “home” row. Pieces can “jump” over other pieces, but landing on another piece (that is not one’s own) returns that piece to its player’s “out” area. A player may advance past the final tile in the home row, though the first player who fills all four tiles of the home row with their pieces wins the game. 1] Robert I, Cetibor the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Haeseni Chess. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ II POPULARIZED BY SOFIYA BARUCH ORIGIN Lafsk, having originated from the northern reaches of the Duchy of Valwyck in roughly 321 E.S, was popularized by Her Excellency, Duchess Sofiya Baruch, the Grand Lady of the Haeseni Court at the time. It is a game involving fifty-four wooden blocks stacked in alternating rows of three. Players proceed to pull the blocks from the tower until it collapses. The name itself roughly translates to the phrase ‘to fall’ in New Marian.1 HOW TO PLAY 1. Depending on the amount of players participating each player will roll out of 20, 30, or 40. 2. The first person pulling a piece will need to roll above 1, the next player will need to roll above 2, then the next above 3, etc. a. Ex. If there are less than 4 people participating, then the players should roll out of 20 3. This will continue until the tower finally falls. 1] Sofiya Baruch, year unnoted: The Game of Lafsk. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ III POPULARIZED BY LAURITZ CHRISTIANSEN AND SOFIYA BARUCH ORIGIN Derived from the New Marian word for ‘to roll’, Werheg, originally known as Werheg Herzenz (“to roll lords”), is a game with ancient roots. Players roll a ball toward 6–28 candle-shaped ‘Herzenz’, originally wooden and occasionally featuring carvings of prominent figures. It was first formalized in 323 E.S. by Her Excellency, Duchess Sofiya Baruch, expanding the game’s reach beyond just the peasantry which invented it. The Herzenz have become more elaborate accordingly, with some noble circles preferring ornately painted iterations.1 HOW TO PLAY 1. Ten Herzenz are lined up—one in front, two behind it, three behind them and four in the rear. 2. Players take rounds in turns, successively rolling two balls at the Herzenz from a set distance. Each Herzenz knocked down is worth one point for the rolling player. 3. Knocking down all ten Herzenz with one ball is known as a Trazk; earning one affords the player all 10 points plus any points they earn next round. Knocking down all ten Herzenz with two balls is known as a Lauldtrazk; earning one affords the player all 10 points plus the points of the first roll of the next round. a. Ex. If, in two rounds, a player first rolls a Trazk and then 6 in the next, they are awarded 16 points plus the 6 of the second round. If a player rolls a Lauldtrazk and 4 on the first roll of the next round, they are awarded 14 points plus any they earn in the next round. 3. Whichever player has a higher number of points after twelve rounds is the victor. 1] Sofiya Baruch, Lauritz Christiansen, year unnoted: The Game of Werheg. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ IV CREATED BY ALEKSANDRA STAFYR ORIGIN Weo Ovare, also known as "Who is it?" is a Haeseni guessing game designed for two players. The game utilizes a deck of 12 cards featuring Kings, Queens, and Palatines, however the figures listed on each card chosen are left to the players’ discretion. Its purpose extends beyond entertainment, serving as a tool to enhance knowledge of Haeseni notable figures and history. The ultimate objective is to successfully guess the person or card chosen by the opponent, with the first person to do so declared the winner.1 HOW TO PLAY 1. Do not look at the other player’s cards. 2. Only ask yes or no questions. 3. Avoid asking if the other player’s card is a Queen, King, or Palatine 4. Take turns between you and the other player. 5. Do not ask for outside help when playing. 1] Aleksandra Stafyr, Maya of Muldav, year unnoted: The Game of Weo Ovare. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ V CREATED BY ELEANORA MANNOX ORIGIN Bottezk Zvaerdz is a beloved children’s game originating from the city of New Reza. It was first publicized in the year 348 E.S. by Eleanora Mannox and has gained notoriety ever since. The game, suitable for 2 or more players, starts with a synchronized countdown and the declaration “Zvas supae vy!” (Common: “Let it rip!”) as players release their tops simultaneously. The designated playing space known as an “arena” is a large wooden stadium designed for optimal spinning, usually resembling oversized serving bowls.1 HOW TO PLAY 1. Each player rolls out of 20 when the round starts. 2. The player with the highest roll wins the round. 3. A player who is beaten by more than 10 in a roll is knocked out of the arena. If the difference is less than 10, they are only knocked down. This applies regardless of the number of players. 4. Players earn one point for an opponent’s fall and two points for an opponent’s knockout. 5. The first player to reach 10 points wins. 1] Eleanora Mannox, 348: Haeseni Game of Bottezk Zvaerds. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ VI CREATED BY AMAYA OF VENZIA PSKANY SKASYAT - "DRUNK CHESS" Translating literally to “drunk chess”, Pskany Skasyat is a drinking variant of Haeseni Chess devised to add merriment to the strategy game. For each time that a player has a piece knocked off of the board by a superseding opponent piece, the player whose piece is removed must drink and take a deduction to their two subsequent rolls. The game abounds in tavern-frequenting circles that demand a more lively, social air to the game. HOW TO PLAY Pskany Skasyat is played as Haeseni Chess, but players must ‘drink’ (roll between 1 and 6) when one of their pieces is knocked off the board and subtract that total from their next two rolls, down to a minimum roll of zero. An optional rule to conclusively punish the losers is for players to drink for all of their pieces that have not reached the home row by the game’s end. KENEMARV - “WE DRINK” The game “Kenemarv” (Common: “we drink”) requires two participants to successfully drink from two linked cups - traditionally made of aurum to ward off evil spirits - without spilling a single drop. Participants must sit facing each other to allow an adequate amount of space for the connected cups, which are connected by a singular chain. The primary objective is to finish the drink in both cups without any spillage. HOW TO PLAY 1. Participants will roll after every attempted sip. The numbers rolled are combined to reach specific cumulative targets. The first roll must add up to at least 4, the second roll must add up to at least 8, the third must add up to 12, and so on until 40. 2. If the sum is not met, the drink is spilled, and the participants must start over from the beginning. DRAZANIY “Drazaniy,” translating to “charades” in the common tongue, is a drinking game that puts a spirited spin on charades. Each player takes a turn as the "actor," attempting to convey clues without speaking while the rest of the group eagerly guesses. If the audience correctly identifies the charade, the actor must take a drink; however, if the guess is off the mark, the audience must indulge. The ultimate objective is not only to excel at charades but also to maintain sobriety amidst the merriment. HOW TO PLAY 1. Each player takes turns being the "actor" while the rest of the group serves as the audience. 2. The actor selects a clue without revealing it to the audience. 3. The actor has a limited time (e.g., one minute) to act out the clue while the audience guesses. 4. If the audience guesses correctly, the actor takes a drink. If the audience is unable to guess correctly, they must drink. 5. Every player who drinks must roll out of 100. The roll threshold decreases based on your initial roll. (For instance, if you roll a d100 and get a 93, you must roll out of 93 on your next turn.) 6. The first player to roll a d1 is declared the loser. The rolls continue until only one participant remains. 7. Rotate the role of the actor clockwise, and continue the game until each player is eliminated The sole player remaining is declared the victor. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Firress, ADELA TARONITISSA DE LEUVEN, Matriarch de Leuven, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court, Court Historian Her Ladyship, IRENA STEFANIYA KORTREVICH, Baroness of Koravia, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court Firr AITHWIN ALDOR, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court
  6. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF REIGN [!] Invitations depicting the King and Queen addressing the Court are delivered to all allies across the realm of Aevos. ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 17TH DAY OF JULA AG PIOV OF 507 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ n invitation is extended to the citizens of the Kingdom of Haense as we gather to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of our beloved Koeng and Koenas’ reign! With hearts full of gratitude and joyous cheer, we celebrate this milestone, a moment so dear. Through trials and triumph, side by side they have stood, guiding our kingdom with wisdom, as only they could. To our noble Koeng Aleksandr II, and Koenas Amaya of Venzia, we offer our praise for their unwavering devotion throughout the days. Let us honor them with a grand silver feast; with music and merriment, our voices shall sing. We invite you, allies and friends of the Kingdom of Haense, to join us in this celebration. All guests are encouraged to don shades of silver or white for the momentous occasion. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Firress, ESMERAY LUCERAN, Royal Scribe and Lauzya of the Esrova Prikaz Court
  7. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ CELEBRATING THE VICTORY OVER THE SIEGE OF BREAKWATER ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 15th DAY OF JOMA AG UMUND OF 506 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ AS THE DUST SETTLES, the magnitude of our victory has settled with it. By bringing the realm together, distant neighbors leave the battlefield as brothers in arms, having secured safety for Aevos at the Battle of Breakwater Keep. By the benevolent wish of Queen Amaya of Venzia, the brave soldiers who forged our peace are formally invited to a victor’s ball. THE COVENANT and all those within its borders are welcomed within the decorated halls of the Esrova Palace, to be offered a grand selection of food and refreshments while they are honored for their valor through newly written ballads by the palace’s own courtly bard. Donations will also be accepted to further support the efforts of our valiant soldiers as they continue to fight. THE VICTORS WE CELEBRATE, their families, and all those who take part in our peace are welcome to bask in merriment throughout the night as their just reward, for our past victories will only echo forward towards the future ever onward. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Firress, DEIA, Artist of the Esrova Court, Handmaiden of the Queen Firress, ESMERAY LUCERAN, Lauzya of the Esrova Court, Royal Scribe
  8. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ HONOURING THE BROTHERHOOD OF SAINT KARL IN COLLABORATION WITH THE HOLY HEARTS FOUNDATION. ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 19TH DAY OF WZUVAR AG BYVCA OF 506 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ AS THE WINDS OF WAR GATHER, the realms of the Kingdom and its covenanted nations have determined to suffer no poverty among the soldiers who so valorously underpin their safety. Accordingly, under the gracious patronage of Queen Amaya of Venzia, a beneficent gala has been arranged for the welfare of Hanseti-Ruska’s gallant winter-hardened forces. ALL DWELLERS OF THE KINGDOM and its stalwart allies are welcomed to the august halls of the Esrova Palace for the event, from which the proceeds of food and refreshments will be directed to the Crown for the war effort and the benefit of the Kingdom’s champions. Attendees will be welcome to partake in the jubilant wassail and cheer of an evening of dance and feasting, firm in knowing that they gather in righteous assemblance for a just and steady purpose. GENEROUS GIVERS ARE WELCOME to impart gifts of greater scale, reassured in the understanding that every benefaction will be to the aid of valiant soldiers steadfast in a lofty cause. Mina, materiel and other contributions will be gratefully accepted as the Kingdom prepares its march to absolute victory against the enemies of peace and justice. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Firr AITHWIN ALDOR, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court.
  9. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ A COMPOSITION PAINTED BY FIRRESS DEIA. ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 18th DAY OF JOMA AG UMUND OF 505 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ “IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS and strife, it is a lady's light that reminds us of the peaceful times we fight to reclaim. Though she may mourn what was lost, Lady Theodosya has persevered and in doing so, has become a symbol of grace and piety in strife.” – FIRRESS DEIA, PAINTER OF THE METTLE OF AMADOR In a display of artistic homage, the Esrova Court takes immense pride in introducing the composition "The Mettle of Amador." This exceptional creation, painted by the hand of Firress Deia, a handmaiden of the Queen and distinguished court painter within the esteemed Office of the Arts, draws its inspiration from the indomitable spirit and fortitude of Lady Theodosya Amador. Capturing a pivotal moment of resilience, the painting immortalizes Lady Amador in the aftermath of a harrowing assault by the treacherous bandits of the Heartlands. Through the skilled strokes of Deia's brush, the canvas comes alive with the echoes of Lady Amador's tenacity, each stroke portraying her defiance against adversity - a value that resonates with the people of the Kingdom. Firress Deia, with an artist's eye and a servant's heart, has managed to encapsulate the very essence of Lady Amador's spirit, transforming a moment of vulnerability into an enduring symbol of resilience. In presenting "The Mettle of Amador," both the Queen and the dedicated painter, Firress Deia, wish to express a collective aspiration that transcends the boundaries of this canvas. It is their fervent desire that this painting will serve as a beacon of hope amidst the turbulent seas of war and strife. Between the brushstrokes, there lies a promise - that even in the darkest of times, the human spirit can emerge unbroken, ready to face whatever challenges the tumultuous tides of fate may bring. May this piece inspire courage, kindle hope, and resonate with the hearts of all who behold it. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Firress, DEIA Artist of the Esrova Court, Handmaiden of the Queen Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera.
  10. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ A CALL TO ARMS TO THE COURTIERS OF THE ESROVA PRIKAZ COURT ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 11TH DAY OF JOMA AG UMUND OF 505 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ IN THESE TUMULTUOUS TIMES of war, it is the duty of every citizen to take up arms and aid their Kingdom- whether it be on the frontlines with a sword, or upon the homefront with a quill. The Esrova Court is no different; its courtiers shall support the Kingdom in the war effort against the treacherous Veletzians, for their crimes against Canondom cannot go unpunished. IT IS BY THE will of Queen Amaya of Venzia that all courtiers shall assist in the ongoing war effort to ensure that the strength of the Kingdom is bolstered. Thus, it is decreed that Her Majesty’s council shall endeavor to host charity events to raise funding for the war, and will sponsor the creation of art to boost Haeseni morale. Additionally, the maintenance of Haeseni culture and identity will persist, even in the face of war. The indomitable Haeseni spirit, too, shall be kindled akin to a lively hearth during the harshest of winters. FOR THE COURTIERS WHO are courageous enough to take up the sword, but have not enlisted in the Brotherhood, they are encouraged to do so posthaste. However, the courtiers who aspire to fight for the Kingdom without enlisting are still welcome to do so; much like the regiments of brave and noble women who first brought up arms and fought alongside their male counterparts in the Urguani-Orenian War, and again in the Successor’s War, the courtiers shall once again make their appearances upon the battlefield donning the pink capes of yore witnessed in previous Haeseni victories. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera Her Excellency, MARIAN BLACKWOOD-WEISS, Viscountess-Consort of Novkursain, Baroness-Consort of Zvaerauld, Lady of Staalgrav, Grand Lady of Hanseti-Ruska Her Ladyship, LIRIDONA INGRID AMADOR, Palace Custodian of Hanseti-Ruska Firress ROSALIND LAURELIE VALKONEN, Lady Chamberlain of Hanseti-Ruska, Squire of the Order of the Crow Her Ladyship, ANABEL ELIA COLBORN Countess-Emerita of Malkovya, Keeper of the Book, Lady Auditor of the Royal Duma, and Secretary of the Esrova Courts
  11. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ A COLUMN ON THE OCCURRENCES OF THE JULIYAFEST SEASON ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 22nd DAY OF TOV AG YERMEY OF 504 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ THE JULIYAFEST, WHICH OCCURRED just one year ago, has emerged as a living testament to the unbreakable bonds that bind the people of our Kingdom. Amidst the lively laughter and spirited dances, the festival became a significant display of Haeseni unity, a manifestation of the collective strength that defines us. Friendship flourished amidst the bustling festivities. The air was filled with the warmth of camaraderie, as old acquaintances rekindled their connections and new friendships blossomed like the vibrant flowers that adorned the celebratory spaces. Yet, it was love, the beating heart of any thriving people, that Saint Juliya smiled upon during the Juliyafest. Still, the success of the festival lied in its ability to unify the Haeseni people whilst demonstrating the essence of Haeseni identity through cultural practices and colorful celebrations. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I Two young lovers court at the Juliyafest ball. NEW & OLD This Juliyafest season heralded a period of great change and growth in Haeseni fashion. Attendees dressed (in unprecedented numbers) in handmade couture designs, representing a vast range of cultures, histories, and senses of fashion. My personal highlight of the festival was LADY LUDVIKA LUDOVAR’s ball dress, which featured a beautifully sewn sarafan-style gown, worn without the traditional white undershirt. Instead, Lady Ludvika draped herself in an exquisite deer pelt. The style was avant-garde and completely unique, expertly displaying both Lady Ludvika’s personality and her own personal tastes. Lady Ludvika’s dress was ingenious and new in design, displaying the bright and creative future of Haeseni fashion. On the opposite end of the fashion spectrum, and of fashion history, KOENAS AMAYA OF VENZIA arrived at the ball in a traditional Haeseni court gown of white silk, draped with a purple velvet cloak. It was a gown absolutely befitting of a queen, featuring the narrow waist and broad open neckline of early Haeseni fashions. The effortless elegance, beautiful fabric, and precise tailoring cemented this gown as one for the ages. And for me, at least, it provided a new source of inspiration towards the future of the Haeseni wardrobe. A FESTIVAL OF COLOR One of my own personal passions (and an upcoming project of mine, stay tuned!) is to restore color to the Haeseni wardrobe. There was once a day where the men and women of Haense wore bright greens and reds, yellows, blues, and violets. Color abounded. In our modern day, many Haeseni prefer more dour, conservative fashions. I have noted, however, a distinct uptick of colorful dress, especially at this year’s Juliyafest. My personal favorite example was LADY MIKHAILA VAS RUTHERN’s cherry-red ballgown. The gold detailing combined wonderfully with the glittering red silk of the dress, and made her an absolute belle of the ball, in the eyes of this seamstress. The cut of her dress was inventive too, displaying not only good taste in color, but also an eye for diverse and unique fashions. Red was an especially common (and welcome) hue at the Juliyafest ball, and one that suits the Haeseni people well, hearty and warm in its nature. HOPE FOR THE FUTURE It is my utmost wish that these themes continue to prevail in Haeseni fashion; that the Haeseni people continue to innovate with their ideas, drawing from new and old, and that the red flush of mirth rises to the sallow cheeks of the Haeseni populace once more. Let it be so! – GALINA GODUNOV ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II Throughout the Saint’s week, the festival’s attendees prospered with success. At the inaugural ball, couples were seen partaking in the traditional dances1 of our beloved Kingdom. However, one couple stood out the most, glowing radiantly as they traversed each step of their practiced routine. The duo named the Prides of Paradisus, friends GALINA GODUNOV and LEONID D’ARKENT KORTREVICH displayed the most practiced and jubilant steps on the ballroom floor; most distinctively, they danced the cultural Haeseni Pulvika (half-step) that gained the Queen’s favor. All in attendance would agree - this pair was the best duo of dancers. The third eve of festivities began with a paired hunt. The pairs - consisting of couples, friends, and family members - were led into the woods by the esteemed Master of the Hunt, SER MIKHAIL VALKONEN. With one partner blindfolded and equipped with a crossbow, the other partner led the pair through the woods. The hunt yielded three roe and one brown bear - all participants of the hunt successfully contributed to the yield. The Reznian Hunt was followed by an eve of jousting and melee fighting - the Reznian Tourney. Although many came close to victory, only two competitors reigned superior. Emerging victorious, GAREN BARUCH won the jousting tourney, and DAGFINN won the melee. The duo demonstrated impressive militaristic prowess that certainly made them shine upon the third day of the Juliyafest. – ESMERAY LUCERAN 1] For additional reading on the cultural dances of the Haeseni, see Haeseni Customs Vol II. [Link] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III The success of Juliyafest has left our noble realm basking in the glow of newfound love and promising unions. The air still carries the echoes of celebration, with the joyous matrimony of some and the blossoming courtships of others becoming the heartwarming tales that now weave the fabric of our shared futures. Saint Juliya surely smiles upon these young couples, as the Valdevic Rite of Adulthood - the Holy Juliyafest, has proven to be a catalyst for enduring connections. As I reflect on the multitude of courtships and marriages that have sprouted from the festival, it warms my heart to see Saint Juliya's benevolent influence at work. These couples caught my eye during the celebrations, and I beseech every reader to pray for their happy and fruitful unions. PRINCESS EMMA BARBANOV AND HENRIK AMADOR My cherished daughter, Emma Anastasya, found happiness in the company of Henrik Amador as their courtship commenced during Juliyafest. The radiance of Emma's happiness with her intended was evident, and I can only hope that their love blossoms further - with her parents’ approval, of course. PRINCE IVAN BARBANOV AND NATALIYA MOROVAR Then there is Ivan Aleksandr, my beloved son, and his future Queen, Nataliya Morovar. Their impending wedding, set to unfold in the coming years, fills my heart with pride. Nataliya especially looked captivating at the ball in her pink gown, and it was a refreshing sight to behold them both during the celebrations. ROSALIND AND MIKHAIL VALKONEN My beloved Court Chamberlain, Rosalind Weiss has found her match, Ser Mikhail Valkonen. Engaged during the Juliyafest, their love blossomed and flourished, culminating in a beautiful union that occurred just this Saint’s Day. Rosalind, with her grace and strength, and Mikhail, a valiant Knight and my own Master of the Hunt, have grown into a couple that fills me with pride. DIMITRI KORTREVICH AND LILLIAN VON THEONUS Dimitri Kortrevich and Lillian von Theonus were seen together during the celebrations, presumably in the early stages of courtship. The youthful pair appeared sweet, their connection a promising highlight of the Juliyafest. It warmed my heart to see them together, and I pray their union shall last for years to come. LUDVIKA LUDOVAR AND LEONID KORTREVICH Ludvika Ludovar and Leonid Kortrevich surprised us all with their engagement, which was officialized shortly after the end of the Juliyafest. However, their shared talent for writing promises an intellectually rich partnership that I pray will bring them both prosperity and happiness. IRENA KORTREVICH AND GABRIEL AMADOR Gabriel Amador and Irena Kortrevich chose the Juliyafest as the backdrop for their wedding. Irena, resplendent in her Rus-styled gown, and Gabriel, donning a matching suit woven of gold and white thread, made for a stunning couple, and their union was a sight to behold. AURELIA STROHEIM AND VIKTOR WEISS Lastly, it delights me to announce the wedding of Aurelia Stroheim and Viktor Weiss, scheduled to occur this upcoming year. Witnessing the King's approval of their union brought me great joy, and I look forward to celebrating their union in the near future. – AMAYA OF VENZIA ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Her Ladyship, GALINA GEORGINA ALYOVNA GODUNOV, Master of G.O.A.T.s, Head Designer for the Haeseni Ledi Company, President of the Holy Hearts Foundation, Mistress of the Esrova Wardrobe, The Pride of Paradisus. Firress, ESMERAY LUCERAN, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court.
  12. ✧──────────────✧⊱✧⊰✧──────────────✧ THE ROYAL RECIPE OF HANSETI-RUSKA ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 15TH DAY OF JULA AG PIOV OF 504 E.S. ✧──────────────✧⊱✧⊰✧──────────────✧ AS THE CHILL OF the night settles in and frosty winds whisper through the Haeseni landscape, there's nothing quite like a steaming cup of the cocoa made with goat milk to ward off the winter cold. Drawing inspiration from the rich traditions of my own Scyfling roots, this warming elixir promises to envelop all in the comforting embrace of warmth and flavor alike! Renowned across the Kingdom, the cinnamon cocoa beverage has become a cherished tradition during the Long Winter, savored in moments of respite and revelry alike. Thus, I present to you, the Haeseni people, the very special recipe I’ve perfected over the years - formally dubbed the Queen’s Cocoa. INGREDIENTS ✽ 2 cups Scyfling goat milk ✽ 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder ✽ 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar ✽ 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon ✽ 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract ✽ Pinch of salt ✽ Whipped cream (optional, for serving) ✽ Ground cinnamon and marshmallows for garnish INSTRUCTIONS: I. PREPARE THE COCOA BASE ✽ Mix the cocoa powder with a small amount of goat milk to create a smooth paste. ✽ Heat the goat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, stirring frequently. II. COMBINE INGREDIENTS ✽ Once the goat milk is warm, add the cocoa paste, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture continuously to ensure even blending. III. SIMMER AND STIR ✽ Simmer the cocoa mixture over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches your desired temperature. Avoid boiling to prevent the burning of the cocoa base (Burnt chocolate smells quite foul). IV. MAKE ADJUSTMENTS IF NECESSARY ✽ Taste the hot cocoa and adjust the sweetness or cinnamon level according to your liking, taking into account the unique qualities of goat milk. Goat milk has a thicker consistency, and thus it is advised to always taste your cocoa before it is served. V. SERVING ✽ Pour the hot cocoa into any mug of your choosing. Top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for extra flavor. It is of the utmost importance that you do not forget the marshmallows.
  13. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ HAESENI CUSTOMS - VOL III CELEBRATIONS OBSERVED BY THE HAESENI PEOPLE ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 8TH DAY OF MSITZA AG DARGUND OF 503 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ FOR CENTURES, THE HAESENI people have woven the threads of their existence with an impenetrable connection to their spirituality, intertwining seamlessly with the natural world that cradles their homeland. From the beginning, their connection to the sacred tenets of the Canonist religion has served as a guiding compass, echoing through the valleys and peaks, whispering in the rustling leaves, and echoing in the rhythmic dance of seasonal equinoxes and solstices. The heartbeat of Hanseti-Ruska pulses in sacred harmony with the rhythms of nature and their histories are ingrained within the very soil beneath our feet. It is in this intricate dance with the divine and the tangible that the Haeseni find the true essence of their cultural identity. During the reign of Queen Amaya of Venzia, these timeless values have since been reignited, and historical holidays of yore have emerged as modern celebrations, each a vibrant reflection of their spiritual ethos and a symbol of the enduring Haeseni legacy. The Queen has sought to not only safeguard the cultural flame but fuel its resurgence in an effort to highlight the traditions that bind the Haeseni people to their rich origins. Through the faithful academic work led by Queen-Consort Amaya of Venzia and Firress Adela Taronitissa de Leuven, whose studies into the origins and traditions of celebrated holidays - under the thorough editor’s purview of Court Secretary Anabel Elia Colborn - a compilation of Haeseni Holidays was made possible for publication within Volume III of Haeseni Customs. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I NIKIRALA JAKKO: THE FEAST DAY OF ST. TOBIAS - TUVMAS JAKKO IS A TRADITIONAL holiday that commemorates the forthcoming winter solstice and the Tuvmas season. During this period, the people of the Kingdom partake in particular festivities dedicated to Saint Tobias, otherwise known as Saint Tuvya to the Haeseni. These celebrations typically entail a grand feast, a play, the lighting of the Tuvmas tree, and a market festival held in the heart of the town square. Historically, the holiday was observed solemnly, however it has adopted the customs of the Heartlanders' Saint Tobias's Day in recent times, wherein the citizens of the realm partake in gift-giving and acts of kindness. Jakko, the Highlandic iteration of the celebration, similarly honors St. Tobias; the Saint of merchants, comets, wealth, and charity. Regarded for his spiritual and moral awakening upon reaching the peak of his affluence, St. Tobias is often remembered in honour of his charitable acts performed as a credit to his wealth - the tale retells Tobias giving a poor Haenseman his own meal, and it is these feelings of kindred warmth that resonate throughout the merry season.1 MEADENFEST THIS HOLIDAY OF SCYFLING custom originates from the coastal villages where peasants indulge in a day of playful exuberance and drinking sweet meads. It is common for a plethora of games to be hosted during the said fest, with the primary attraction being the game of ‘Knight on the Castle’, where a four-sided pillar is arranged with protruding hang offs, participants of the game having to try and remain on the top of the ‘castle’ as to be declared the rightful Knight of it. Other activities include but are not limited to: Haeseni Chess, comedy shows, jester acts, drinking games, and charades. SIGISMUND’S DAY SIGISMUND’S DAY IS A national holiday observed by all Haeseni to celebrate the patron of Hanseti-Ruska, the Exalted Sigismund. Every year that passes in the Kingdom’s calendar marks another year since his ascension to the Skies; thus, this celebration usually takes place at the beginning of every new year during the peak of winter.2 During this day, it is tradition for all members of the Karovic household to feast in the halls of the current Karovic Patriarch. Common foods observed during this feast include veal, iskov, and restineol.3 PRAZEKHAG - ANCESTOR’S DAY A CELEBRATION DEVOTED TO the plethora of Haeseni ancestors and late kin, Prazekhag is designed to honor the many notable founders and figures within historic households. Although families of any ranking status are invited to celebrate this righteous tradition, it is most famous among the noble households of Hanseti-Ruska. The primary practices during this commemoration involve the construction of a giant altar in front of the capital’s cathedral, whereupon families are allowed to leave blessings and tokens to not only their familial ancestors, but past Haeseni figures also. Following that, a few words might be spoken about the greatness of one's household, acting as an open session to pridefully boast about one's lineage and origins, and finally the main procession by the namesake of the “Rogwyk i ve Zesgan” (Common: Walk of the Past) wherein a parade of women; of noble and common origin, don veils woven with intricately embroidered scenes of their Household and ancestry and process to the Haeseni Basilica. The parade commences with a prayer, upon which the line of women make their way to the capital’s Basilica. At the conclusion of the parade, mass is conducted with the intention of honoring the ancestors and founders of Haeseni households and, by extension, the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska as a whole. WIEROKZINATT - SOOTHSAYERS’ EVE A RAEV TRADITION ORIGINATING from the isolated circles of soothsayers living in the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, the Wierokzinatt consists of a night of enthrallment and mysticism, filled with readings from soothsayers and the sale of blessed jewelry - usually crafted with sapphires of varying colors as these particular gemstones are believed to bring mystical closeness to GOD. The Haeseni Oracle will meditate quietly, in order to receive and foretell a prophecy of grandeur at the peak of the celebration. Star-gazing is a distinctive activity during this celebration, as participants will try to read the stars and constellations pertaining to their zodiacs with the assistance of lesser soothsayers and astrologers. Upon this eve, prayers to Godan are offered in thanks for the clarity of the cosmos. The Soothsayers’ Eve occurs on the darkest night of the year when the stars shine the brightest, and it is believed that the spirits of loved ones - as well as the path of one’s future - lie amongst the stars. 1] Vzeslaw Graiswald, Cetibor the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Sigmundic Canonism. [Link] 2] Hieromar the Elder, year unnoted: Festival of Wiekley Sigmundi. [Link] 3] Hieromar the Elder, year unnoted: Haeseni People. [Link] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II MORRIVI JULIYAFEST JULIYAFEST, NAMED FOR SAINT Juliya, is a beloved holiday held in commemoration of courtships, matrimony, and maturation. Although it is typically observed at the beginning of Spring when new love is expected to bloom as the winter defrosts, the Juliyafest may be hosted at any time during the Saint’s year. However, the most recent iteration of Juliyafest symbolizes a significant rite of maturation as the Haeseni youth ascend to adulthood, and thus the celebration spanned several Saint’s Days.1 Many have been known to wed their betrothed or beg their beloved’s head of house for permission for courtship on this day. Furthermore, the presentation of a crown of lilies, known as Liliekongis, can be expected to be received as a romantic gesture from a Haenseman to his romantic interest. The more fortunate and hopeful can look forward to being gifted a belt woven of ivy and twine, the Verevka Belt, blessed by a priest in order to ask for their hand in marriage 1 JORSKDAG JORKSDAG, OR JOREN’S DAY, is a Scyfling holiday that celebrates the first encounter between St. Joren and St. Tara. Today, it is widely believed that this encounter beckoned Spring to bloom. Flowers sprouted, spanning across luscious, verdant fields as far as the eye could see. In accordance with this miraculous event, the Scyflings of Hanseti-Ruska partake in the jovial celebration of Jorskdag to commemorate the coming Spring equinox every Saint’s year. RORTDEY: THE FEAST DAY OF ST. AMYAS THE OBSERVANCE OF RORTDEY signifies the coming of Spring and celebrates St. Amyas, the Patron Saint of medicine, healing, botany, and wild herbs. It is said that the coming of Spring symbolizes Godan’s healing of the Winter’s blight, akin to the healing that St. Amyas performed in life. Oftentimes, the feast day will include a Scyfling Maypole dance and a forage in the woodlands to supplement the subsequent feast. 1 VALBORGIS NATT VALBORGIS NATT IS A springtime celebration observed by ancient Scyfling tribes that has since resurfaced as a national Haeseni holiday. The festival includes field cleanups in preparation for the blooming spring and a plethora of traditional Haeseni dances and religious songs performed around a large bonfire. The holiday is rooted in a Highlandic myth about the zealous Scyfling Princess Valborga of Slesvik, who devoted her life to the Church. For years, she renounced her wealth to aid the less fortunate and cared for the surrounding farmland so that the peasantry would always have adequate access to food. In honor of Princess Valborga, this holiday commemorates the approaching spring and the preparation of gardens that flourished under her care. 1] Vzeslaw Graiswald, Cetibor the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Sigmundic Canonism. [Link] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III ASSERALA MIDSOMMAR MIDSOMMAR IS A HAESENI holiday that marks the longest day of the Saint’s year, the Summer Solstice. The festival is deeply rooted in ancient Scyfling traditions, and is a time to celebrate the arrival of summer and the abundance of nature and wildlife the season brings. Key traditions of the Midsommar celebrations include the cultural Maypole Dance, wherein the attendees of the festival weave ribbons and greenery about the Maypole, the lighting of the ceremonial bonfire, and flower-wreath crafting. Traditional Scyfling foods such as the Lohikeitto (salmon stew) and Settekake bread are served over the bonfire as the evening of merriment ensues. JROTHIK: THE FEAST DAY OF ST. JOREN AND ST. TARA AFTER THE TRAGIC FALL of Hanseh, the capital of Saint Joren’s realm, Saint Tara fled with her court to the banks of an isolated river whereupon they settled and named it Jroth. There, she and the members of her court gathered materials from the earth to indulge in a feast to honor the fallen capital in silence. It is this feast of mirth during the period dubbed the Age of Silence that many partake in on Jrothik. The very first iteration of Jrothik occurred during the summertime, and thus the Haeseni continue to observe this holiday during the peak of summer. 1 OKJANEK I MILDULF - HUNT OF MILDULF THE HUNT OF MILDULF is a Haeseni holiday inspired by the Dulonian mythological figure, Mildulf, the Wereboar who was rumored to be a cursed Prince that roams the icy forests.2 Various iterations of the tale claim that Mildulf was turned into a grotesque boar beast by a witch, which led the surrounding villagers to frequently pursue the beast on dangerous hunts. Remnants of this ritual practiced by the ancient Hanso-Raev people are observed by modern Haeseni to this day, albeit Canonized in recent years. During this celebratory hunt, a ceremonious bonfire is lit by a priest, with hunters and warriors alike kneeling before the flames in prayer to bless their hunts. Upon being sent out into the forests, hunters and warriors alike are encouraged to hunt grand beasts to bring back as trophies. These prizes are tossed into the blessed bonfire as an offering to the Exalted Sigismund to keep the Wereboar and other associated creatures at bay. The aftermath of the hunt is usually spent at a smaller feast or tavern to discuss the adventures and might of their hunt. ANNIZHAG - WINE DAY ORIGINALLY HOSTED AS A sign of victory during the prosperous era of Karosgrad by the late Amadea of Susa, Annizhag has turned into a seasonal celebration with associated symbolism of grand welfare for the Kingdom, but also, by extension, an honored holiday for the late Karl III due to his love of cheese. The events hosted on this one-day celebration are very flexible to whomever hosts, but will always showcase a plethora of cheeses and wines for consumption. It is usually encouraged, as done traditionally, for each noble household to bring one cheese and one wine selection for the entirety of Haense’ citizenship to enjoy, as well as a panel of judges to determine who has brought the best produce of the two - although this competition is not limited to nobles only, as commoners may also participate.3 1] Vzeslaw Graiswald, Cetibor the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Sigmundic Canonism. [Link] 2] Otto the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Haeseni Mythologie. [Link] 3] Amadea of Susa, Maeve Morovar, 434: Festival of Wine & Cheese. [Link] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ IV KHOVALA KHOVALAFEST - AUTUMN FESTIVAL KHOVALAFEST IS CELEBRATED IN the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska to commemorate the Autumnal Equinox. This momentous occasion signifies the changing of seasons and the peak of the harvest. The festival recognizes the diligent work of the kingdom's farmers and laborers as they witness the transition from the vibrant green of summer to the warm hues of gold and red indicative of Haeseni autumn. The mythological figure, Gorm, a mysterious three-eyed crow, is historically associated with the symbolism of the autumn harvest. Ancient Haeseni peoples believed that Gorm was connected to the land and he is invoked for a plentiful growing season. Additionally, the festival pays homage to St. Henrik, a venerable Canonist figure revered amongst the Haeseni for making a barren wheatfield flourish. The holiday was established by Queen Amaya of Venzia in the year 495 E.S. and is still observed today. BAROVIFEST - BARBOV’S FESTIVAL BAROVIFEST STEMS FROM A holiday known as the Haruhtrozdyg, where the ancient Haeseni peoples partook in revelry, unimpeded by social castes or societal expectations. However, the Karovic Monarch, King Barbov, later imposed a law that banned the beloved holiday due to its significant origins and influence rooted in paganism. The peasants and serfs of the land heavily protested this law, which led to an unusual display of compromise from the zealous King Barbov. He would allow their festival to continue, on the condition that all references and symbols of paganism were removed from the celebrations. Over time, it transformed into what the Haeseni know today as the Barovifest, named after King Barbov the Black. The celebration came to be sponsored by the Carrion dynasty, with varying traditions and practices evolving over the centuries.1 The festival’s traditions include Ve Hauchwundarbuyr (The Great Boar Hunt), categorised by traditions wherein noblemen compete to bring back boar for the peasantry, the carving of wooden masks called Maskoez that depict animals or historical figures, and the crafting of flower crowns known as Crowns of Chamomile made to symbolize romantic love between festival attendees. A play performed by serfs and royalty marks the beginning of the festivities, symbolizing the unity of Haeseni peoples regardless of status or station.1 The Barovifest also features archery contests (Tiberala), melees (Bratkontat), and a jovial food fight dubbed the Harutopolta. The evening concludes with a ceremonial feast and a drinking competition, while a wooden effigy of a horse is burned to symbolize the Exalted Owyn's steed. The day after Barovifest, known as Barovimuesz or the Feast of All Souls' Eve, is a holy day of obligation for all Haeseni Canonists. Families pray for their departed loved ones, and the reigning monarchs take in the less fortunate to receive food, new clothes, and forgiveness for debts and crimes.1 ALL HALLOW’S EVE VARIOUS HAESENI SUPERSITIONS AND legends state that the veil between the mortal and spiritual realms thins at the height of Autumn.2 One legend stated that this veil shall fall upon the darkest night of Autumn, which often invoked a sense of paranoia in the ancient peoples; thus, they carved masks to protect their identities from any lingering spirits. In accordance with this superstition, the modern citizenry partake in the holiday lovingly dubbed All Hallow’s Eve by carving faces into pumpkins and donning frightening costumes to keep any malevolent or wandering spirits at bay. Prayers to Godani for protection and guidance on this eve are common, and oftentimes Mass will be held the night prior. HAESENI INDEPENDENCE DAY FOR MANY YEARS, HANSETI-RUSKA stood as a vassal beneath the Holy Orenian Empire. Its status as a Kingdom, granted by the Empire, was first held by King Petyr I, and such vassalage would remain until King Josef I’s reign, when the Edict of Separation was officially issued by Empress Anne I on the 11th of the Amber Cold, 1786. The anniversary of Haeseni independence has since been celebrated every Saint’s year following that fateful eve. The holiday comprises two months of celebration: the first month is known as 'The Revelry of Crows’, which includes historical exhibits, trivia, traditional Haeseni dishes, a Carrion Black drinking contest, and a parade to showcase Haeseni pride.3 The second month of festivities, 'The Eve of Memorium', is a solemn event that allows the Haeseni people to pay respects to the departed. Participants, dressed in historical attire, perform the 'Last Drink of Death' ritual; pouring half of their drink on the floor to symbolize remembrance.4 A prayer is offered for the departed, followed by traditional Haeseni dances, fostering a night of merriment and pride. JAKZHAG - YAK’S DAY JAKZHAG IS AN EVENT which spans a single day, fit for any mighty warrior of Hanseti-Ruska. With origins rooted in Kralta from the era of Anthos, this celebration spread through smaller Raevir communities and shifted over time from an atypical Harvest Festival to a display of militaristic prowess and fierce combative skill. A variety of events are hosted throughout the day to test such strengths, including but not limited to; wrestling, sparring, jousts, fist fights, and other sports. The unique and definitive aspect of this event is the usage of the ancient animal, the yak. All prizes from the event are usually centered around the beast, as well as the food served throughout the festivities. Historical records reveal that the primary Kraltan cuisine served on Jakzhag includes Yak on a Stick, Yak on a Bun, Yak on a Yak, Kralta Fried Chicken, and Yak-y Booze.5 1] Otto the Tarcharman, year unnoted: Barovifest, the Day of Serfs or the Day of All Souls. [Link] 2] Sigismund III, year unnoted: Seasons of Haense. [Link] 3] Isabel of Valwyck, 339: The Crow’s Independence Revelry. [Link] 4] Hieromar the Elder, year unnoted: Haeseni People. [Link] 5] Author and year unnoted: Kraltan Harvest Festival. [Link] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Firress, ADELA TARONITISSA DE LEUVEN, Matriarch de Leuven, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court, and Court Historian Her Ladyship, ANABEL ELIA COLBORN Countess-Emerita of Malkovya, Keeper of the Book, Lady Auditor of the Royal Duma, and Secretary of the Esrova Courts.
  14. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ VOLUME II CULTURAL DANCES PERFORMED BY THE HAESENI ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 8TH DAY OF GRONA AG DROBA OF 502 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ DANCE IN HANSETI-RUSKA has been an ever-present piece of its culture dating back to ancient times. It is thought that, by dancing, one expresses the truest part of themselves; once our emotions are too potent to be contained, we dance. All Haeseni people of different cultural backgrounds have developed their own distinct styles of dance, with many groups developing different dances for different social situations and classes. Whether dancing for joy, faith, relief, merrymaking, even fealty to God or a liege, all dance is an enunciation of passionate emotions. Haeseni dances have been influenced by the folk rites of the Hanseti, Raev, Ayrikiv, Scyflings, and Waldenians: all cultural groups present in the Kingdom. Many dance forms originate from a single culture, with a select few being influenced by a blending of two or more cultural group practices. Unfortunately, while a plethora of varied Haeseni dances developed over the ages, they have all mostly fallen out of custom in the present day. However, succeeding the ascension of Queen-Consort Amaya of Venzia to preside over the Esrova Court, her nurturing care and encouragement have manifested a cultural renaissance - or rebirth - among Haeseni society. This rebirth of the lambent flame of culture has induced many once-lost Folk and Haeseni-variant dances to resurface and return to public consciousness. Through the faithful academic work led by Queen-Consort Amaya of Venzia, with her astute observations of the choreography of said dances, Firress Adela Taronitissa de Leuven, whose historical studies into the origins and archival data of the dances herein were crucial, and under the proficient editor’s gaze of Court Secretary Anabel Elia Colborn, a compilation of Haeseni Cultural dances - no matter whether they are extinct or presently prominent - was made possible for publication within Volume II of Haeseni Customs. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I THE HOPPING DANCE KNOWN FOR ITS GRAND hops and intense movements, Ve Hopaky originates from before the Kingdom of Raev, from when the Raevir people were scattered and split. The dance features high leaps and kicks, symbolizing the exuberance and vitality of those who perform the dance. Frequently, the dancers transition from high jumps to low squats in quick succession, adding an absorbing element of unpredictability to the energetic display. Rapid spins and twirls are also incorporated into the dance - primarily by women - who conjointly accompany the male aspect of the Hopping Dance via constant rhythmic clapping: dual purposed for beat, and encouraging the audience to join in with the pageant. The general footwork of the dance is intricate and syncopated; quick with precise and rapid steps, often accompanied by low kicks and spins throughout. Ve Hopaky has roots in the Raevir people, prior to the Elk Wars and the unification of all Raev men, when most were in smaller peasant villages or roaming cossacks; in the period during which, having conquered new lands or combatted attempted invasion, Raevir men broke out into a frenzied dance of acrobatic skill, hopping in sporadic and unstructured dance. When unified under St. Karl, the first King of the Raev, the tradition continued as displays of accomplishment and celebration. During the reign of Boris II, King of Raev, and his consort Alicia Therving, women’s involvement in the dance grew, allowing for the Hopping Dance to transform from a simple display of militaristic triumph to a historic folk dance representing skillful expertise and the Northern soul. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II THE SWORD DANCE VE ZVAERDANS IS CREDITED as the most dangerous dance of the Haeseni people. There are a variety of ways to perform the dance, but they always consist of three major factors: usage of at least two swords and round shield, beginning the dance in the pas de basque position around quarters of crossed swords, and a heroic gambol involving swordplay. The dance opens with a three-step prance around crossed swords - each dancer having either free hands or a circular shield - that eventually progresses as each dancer lifts a blade from the ground and begins a dramatic and grandiose mock duel with tricks of the hand: swirling swords at considerable speed, throwing the swords in the air prior to catching them, and sometimes setting the blade itself aflame. The Sword Dance is typically performed by soldiers after training or major victories, by bards to describe heroic battles of yore, or before the monarchs as a form of grand entertainment. Originally a combination of two historical dances, the Zvaerdans requires acrobatic skill and swordsmanship. Influenced by both Raevir and Ayrikiv cultural practices, the spirit of the dance remains similar in its Northern origins, however, the primary methodologies vary. The tradition of dancing within the four-quarters of crossed swords originated from Ayrikiv soldiers who would dance prior to battle to symbolize and inspire bravery, often encouraging fellow militants to join them in possibly their final moments of joviality before being sent off to fight. The Raevir roots of the dance, derived from an inherent obsession with honor and duels, is defined by fantastical displays of skill in song and dance accompanying bardic lyrics of heroic venture. It is uncertain when the two forms merged, but the unfathomable skill and bravery needed for handling swords in its modern incarnation is often greatly appraised. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III THE HAESENI BALLET VE TARANYEK HAENZI IS a stunning social dance for the purposes of entertainment. Originally an extension of Orenian ballet - regarded for having more delicate footwork, dramatic movement, heavy themes of tragedy and deeper concepts of morality - Haeseni Ballet is often noted for its grueling discipline and the painful sacrifices made by the many ballerinas who study the dance professionally. Some noted and famed ballerinas of the variant were: founder Baroness Elia Eryka Colborn-Stafyr, Princess Royal Analiesa Josefina Barbanov-Bihar, Countess-Consort Viorica Irena Kortrevich, and Count Mativy Kortrevich. Originating from the Aeldinic Kingdom of Banardia, Ballet was a major influence imported to the realm of Almaris - into the heart of Providence during the reign of Empress Anne I. Following the establishment of the foreign dance into the Imperial Courts, a plethora of companies and entities rose to carry on the tradition of educating humanity in the cultural dance: Rochefort School of Music, Bluestockings Society, the Augustine Court, and the Carrington Ballet Company. The late Amadea of Susa, being of Orenian pedigree, brought the dance to the Haense courts, where it was quickly popularized by a variety of courtiers. Baroness Elia Eryka Colborn-Stafyr, inspired by the dance she studied during her brief wardship under Lady Mathilde von Pruessens, was a key figure in the development of the Northern Ballet style throughout the years. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ IV THE CARRION DANCE AKIN TO HAESENI BALLET, Ve Karodans is a social dance, typically performed for higher nobility and royalty as a form of entertainment. However, a bastardized variant can often be seen in taverns; with drunkards trying to balance bottles of Carrion Black atop their ahead as they feverishly prance around. The movements in the Carrion dance are rather precise, distinguished by slow and gradual motions within the build-up contrasted against intense action involving acrobatic twists or a fusion of the Hopaky in a slower, steadier motion. Often, in grand professional performances, the dancer is accompanied by a company dancing in a circle, causing the display to be jovial and therefore regularly requested at the events of peerage as a form of entertainment. The Carrion dance is often seen at banquets, feasts, weddings, debuts, and baptisms. During the reign of Marius II, the tavern culture pivotally changed following the establishment of the Helburke by Lord Helton Helvets and Count Conrad Ashford de Falstaff. With the whispers of the War of the Two Emperors on the horizon - grander settings and lounging becoming a famed aspect in daily life - most inn-keepers were trying their best to maintain a sense of luxury in both scene and drinks. Eventually, whether inspired by their ancestral dances or their drunken haziness, the bastardized variant of Ve Karodans was born - named after the drink it was typically performed with, in honour of Carrion Black’s popularity and the Barbanov lineage. Following the birth of the Carrion Dance, it was introduced to higher class through exposure in the taverns, becoming a choreographed form of entertainment as aforementioned. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ V THE CHANTING CIRCLE IN THE EARLY DAYS of Haense, work and labor filled the days of hard-working peasants. With little time spare for jovial celebration, a common arrangement of dancing in the streets during points of minor celebration or much-needed break became a typical theme. Inspired by the growing population of bards, the Roziktan was founded and implemented into daily life within the Duchy of Haense, surviving through the years into the beloved Kingdom today. Ve Roziktan, derived from the New Marian verb ‘rozik’, meaning to speak or chant, directly translates to Common as “the chanting circle”. To perform the Chanting Circle, any number of individuals form clustered circles - with a few allowed to escape into the center and dance - while chanting songs or lyrics, accompanied by instruments and lighthearted jigs. Most participants enjoy forming a sung story, either of originality or tales of yore. The sporadic nature of this dance style is often performed by those of the lower classes of society, specifically in the slums, for a source of provincial joy. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VI THE SUN DANCE VE ASERADANS WAS DEVELOPED by Raevir nuns who danced in circles, symbolically dancing around the glory of Godani and His sun. This jovial tradition enabled them to indulge in the luxuries of dance and joy while maintaining the integrity of their sworn oaths of chastity. Over time, middle-class merchants and lesser nobility took a liking to the Canonist Sun dance, adopting a unique rendition dance for their light-hearted functions, known as the formerly mentioned Roziktan. The most significant feature of the dance is that all participants form a circle while holding one another's hands, or the little finger of their flanking partners, and constantly moves in a counterclockwise rotation. A sequence of three steps forward and one step back accompanies the group’s unyielding twirling, with the circle breaking at specific times to permit a singular dancer to slip in for a moment of companionless dancing. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VII THE MAYPOLE DANCE THE MAYPOLE DANCE, KNOWN in New Marian as Ve Majakdans, is an integral part of the Scyfling Midsommar celebration that heralds the coming summer equinox, albeit the dance has been observed during springtime festivals as well. The Maypole Dance did not gain notoriety until the reign of Amaya of Venzia, but the tradition has long held significance within the Scyfling House of Colborn. This dance typically involves a group of participants who gather around a Maypole - often adorned with flowers, greenery, and ribbons. To perform this dance, dancers form a circle around the Maypole, each grasping a ribbon attached to the top of the pole. The dancers traipse about the Maypole in a circular motion, weaving the colorful streamers under and over in varying patterns - typically double weaves or plaits, until the ribbons intertwine to encompass the entirety of the Maypole. Oftentimes, the Maypole Dance will adopt a competitive element during festivals, wherein dancers test their stamina around the Maypole. Dancers will continuously weave their strands about the Maypole, and the final individual standing is crowned the victor. ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ VIII THE HALF-STEP VE PULVIKA, KNOWN IN Common as “the Half-Step,” is a beloved Haeseni dance bearing distinct Waldenian influence. It is a high-spirited dance resembling the typical waltz, though it notably occurs in a 2/4 halftime tempo; hence the dance’s given name. The dance’s basic step is characterized by a distinctive galloping motion with a quick-to-slow rhythm. The leading partner initiates the step by taking a quick left footstep, followed by a quick right footstep. The third count involves a slower left footstep, often accompanied by a slight hop. The following partner mirrors these steps, creating synchronized and energetic movements. Additionally, the underscore is a key element, featuring a lively and upbeat tune with a 2/4 time signature. Dancers often incorporate small hops, kicks, and even heel clicks into their choreography, adding to the dance's playful and exuberant nature. The Half-Step developed in the Kingdom of Aesterwald: a domain accumulating profound Waldenian influences as they migrated to new lands obtained from the Order of Saint Lucien. It was there that the informal choreography of Ve Pulvika was formulated, having been inspired by the unstructured jigs that the Aesterwaldenians danced to during their jovial celebrations. Later, following the fall of Aesterwald during the Schism War, the Highlanders’ dance died out in both the Early and Late Johannian Periods - only to be revived during the Andrean Period when Waldenians began to formally return to Northern lands. Ve Pulvika found itself emerging once more with the unsanctioned renaissance of Hanso-Waldenian culture, primarily spearheaded by the Ducal House of Barclay, who breathed new life into a modernized variant of the Half-Step featuring formal choreography. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera. Firress, ADELA TARONITISSA DE LEUVEN, Matriarch de Leuven, Royal Scribe of the Esrova Court, Court Historian Her Ladyship, ANABEL ELIA COLBORN Countess-Emerita of Malkovya, Keeper of the Book, Lady Auditor of the Royal Duma, and Secretary of the Esrova Courts.
  15. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ THE VALDEVIC RITE OF ADULTHOOD ISSUED BY THE ON THIS 10TH DAY OF TOV AG YERMEY OF 501 E.S. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ s the youth of Hanseti-Ruska ascend to adulthood, the Queen’s Council hereby declares that a coming-of-age celebration - otherwise known as the Valdevic Rite of Maturation - shall commence in the coming year. Nestled within the Valdevic Rite of Maturation is the Holy Festival of St. Juliya. The revered St. Juliya is the Patron Saint of matrimony, which, in the instance of this celebration, has not only been interpreted as the union between man and woman but also man and country. While many of this season’s festivities are interlaced with ideas pertaining to courtships and matrimony, it is important to note that in this time of strife, Her Majesty, the Queen, wishes to promote one’s unity with their country - neighbor, companion, and paramour. This celebration shall span four Saints' days, where the devout and the mirthful alike come together to partake in its spiritual splendor. It is also worth noting that those seeking to engage in the courting events must be above the age of majority, eighteen winters - however, all are welcome to partake in the festivities of the Juliyafest. ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ I ST. JULIYA’S COMPANIONS THE FIRST DAY OF THE JULIYAFEST, known as the Celebration of St. Juliya’s Companions, will commence with the beloved game “Koeng of the Krawn." A Haeseni coin (known simply as a Krawn) is hidden within a cake and sought by the participants of the challenge. The fortunate victor is subsequently crowned Koeng or Koenas of the Krawn and shall be bestowed a scepter of ivy, twigs, and twine to wield for the day. Amidst the scenic beauty of the Prikaz gardens, a leisurely stroll will provide respite for the attendees whilst the bards enchant the audience with a series of enthralling performances. Haeseni legend states that if the apple skins are tossed over the right shoulder, the first letter of their soulmate’s name will appear. As per tradition, the age-old practice of apple peeling shall appear during the celebration. Tarot and compatibility readings, too, shall be offered by the esteemed members of the Queen’s Council during the festivities. The evening will conclude with a colorful performance of the arcane proffered by the Mistress of the Abstract to entertain the attendees of the Juliyafest. [November 8th, 5:00 pm est] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ II THE INAUGURAL BALL UPON THE SECOND EVE of the Juliyafest, the inaugural ball will commence. This celebration shall be defined by a remarkable display of the diverse heritages comprising the cultural tapestry of the realm. Each attendee is expected to don their finest attire whilst paying homage to the culture of their familial roots. Lords and Ladies will be officially presented as they enter the ballroom, and the guest deemed the best dancer at the ball shall be dubbed the Pride of Paradisius - an honorary title of renown bestowed only by the Queen. Chiefly, the attendees of the inaugural ball are expected to showcase their familial pride on this day of the Juliyafest. Guests are encouraged to don the most significant symbolisms of their familial household - colors, sigils, and so on - within the intricacies of their attire. [November 9th, 5:30 pm est] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ III THE REZNIAN GAMES ON THE THIRD DAY of the Juliyafest, the itinerary is brimming with enthralling activities. The day begins with an expedition into the Haeseni wilderness, wherein paired hunts shall ensue to provide friends and couples alike a collaborative hunting experience that tests not only the pair’s skills but also their trust and cooperation. [November 10th, 5:00 pm est] Succeeding the hunt, a grand tourney consisting of hand-to-hand melee and jousting shall occur upon the Haeseni tourney grounds. Here, every valiant fighter may be offered a favor, a token of one’s affection or friendship. Additionally, the winners of each event are granted the privilege of publicly dedicating their victory to the esteemed individuals of their choosing. Finally, as night peaks, the guests will engage in a lively dance upon the jousting grounds to conclude the evening on a lighthearted note. [November 10th, 6:30 pm est] ✧⊱🜂⊰✧ IV THE DAY OF UNITY THE FOURTH AND FINAL eve of the Juliyafest promises a merry celebration for all in attendance, commencing with the Day of Unity. Here, couples may engage in the Haeseni tradition of the Verevka belt crafting and bestowal, an ancient practice wherein the suitor presents a belt of gathered ivy and twine. After the proposals take place, the newly engaged couples will embark on a culinary adventure, gathering plants foraged from the farmlands to create a delectable meal with guidance provided by the Queen’s Master of the Pantry. Following the proposals, friends and family shall feast with the newly engaged couples to determine if their arduous labors bore fruit. Thereafter, attendees are ushered to the charming village square, transformed into a lively carnival ground. Here, they may indulge in a delightful array of carnival games, each designed to invoke the unifying spirit of Juliyafest. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the market stalls, lovingly adorned with Juliyafest motifs, offer a chance to browse and shop for unique crafts and keepsakes themed around the beloved Haeseni holiday. [November 11th, 5:00 pm est] ✧──────────────⊱🜂⊰──────────────✧ Her Royal Majesty, AMAYA OF VENZIA, Queen-Consort of Hanseti and Ruska, Princess-Consort of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Solvesborg, Slesvik and Ulgaard, Duchess-Consort of Carnatia, Karosgrad, and Vanaheim, Margravine-Consort of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Countess-Consort of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscountess-Consort of Varna, Baroness-Consort of Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, Rytsburg, Buck and Astfield, Lady of the Westfolk, et cetera.
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