Group Nomenclature

Faelin

The Court Jester
Retired Staff
#1
Group Nomenclature

To speak of the distinctions between the Altera’s many different peoples is to risk a descent into the murky depths of confused definitions and uncertain nomenclature. However! Help is at hand. Below you will find a guide to classifying Alteran life from the wisest and most mysterious creatures, to the smallest and humblest.

Entity - This refers specifically to the functional type of being in question, depending on its most fundamental components. Examples of the types of beings include Elementals, Gods, Mortals, and so on. The correct use of this term is given mainly for OOC clarity; it is not standard in RP.

Mortal - Though the word might seem to describe any being susceptible to death, the Alteran noun has been somewhat altered over centuries of High Church doctrine, which teaches that only those possessed of body, mind and soul are “mortals” - that is approximately to say, the sapient species of Altera. Thus animals, though objectively mortal, are not described as 'mortals' in a lore sense.

Race - To speak of race in Alteran terms is in fact to speak of the different mortal species which have established themselves to the point of sharing in Alteran civilisation. Examples include all of the core races with growing populations: humans, elves, dwarves, caparii, and halflings, but it also includes the former core races with shrinking population, such as the greylings and earthspawn.

Culture - A culture can be loosely described as a society defined by distinct ideas, customs, and social behaviours, usually spanning a defined geographical area, but potentially more thinly spread if the culture is less specific or entails a nomadic lifestyle. Not all individuals necessarily belong to a specific culture, and it is equally important to note that cultures vary in how much they affect those who belong to them. Some cultures are accepted quietly as a natural part of life, some fervently proclaim and enact their values, while some feel their way of life to be a grave personal choice.

Subculture - Not the same thing as a culture, in short; a subculture specifically describes a smaller set of cultural norms within a larger one. A real life explanation would be to consider British society in the 1960s as a culture, and the Mod/Rock youth movements of the time as its subcultures. A better example for a roleplaying server might be this: there is a culture of humans dwelling in small stone villages in the foothills of a large mountain range who worship a small collection of heathen gods. Within this culture, one tribe is distinct in that they only worship the god with the head of a Ram, and not the Ram, the Owl, and the Hare as the others do. They also tend to settle in the highest, rockiest parts of the foothills, and some of their stone buildings are partly dug into the ground for protection from the wind, with round walls instead of square. This would be a subculture; it has an identifiable parent culture, but with some distinct quirks that make it notable in its own right.

Faction - Different to a culture in that it does not necessarily constitute a whole society, a faction is an organised group of people, usually working towards a common goal or within a common framework. Examples include noble houses; nations comprising of multiple cooperative noble house; various trade guilds; religious organisations; and mercenary groups. Factions can exist at a number of levels of complexity, scale, and influence, and often have links to other groups or a certain culture.



Credits
Cherry for clarification
Lore itself has existed in varying states of confusion for an unspecified long time
 
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