The Kaltic

Elz

hmm
Staff member


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The Kalts, Kaltic, or ‘Kaltic-Anhalder’ are all labels which describe an isolated northern culture which has in the past been associated with the more southron Anhalder culture. Queensport has existed for generations, even before the rise of the Anhald Empire, but whatever culture it had before being taken over was supplanted and melded with that of the Anhalder. Now with the empire having fallen from grace, the Kalts of the north continue on unperturbed, as they had before the empire, and will continue to long into the foreseeable future.
[This is a branch from the Anhalder lore. In sections where it is 'mostly unchanged' from the culture of the Anhalder, you can read that lore to see more. This includes the sections on 'Rede'.]
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PHYSIOLOGY
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Height: Males range from 5’10" to 6’4". Females range from 5’5" to 6’0".
Form: Both the obese and the frail exist in Kaltic society, but the cultural ideal is still that of the knight. Well-built and formidable, capable of defending queen and country.
Eyes: Blue and green are the most common amongst higher class families such as the aristocracy or wealthy freemen, with brown being a common color amongst the peasantry.
Tone: The range of habitation for most Kalts is so far north that for some days out of the year the sun is visible for only a scant few hours. These sorts of conditions do not make for a well-tanned people of bronzed skin, and in fact most are remarkably pale.
Hair: Hair tends toward darker shades, with black and brown being the most common in both men and women. The style for men is typically to either wear it short or bound out of the way, while for women short hair is considered a strange and foreign exoticism. Facial hair is common both practically and in pursuit of aesthetics, with unshaven youths not being surprising, but men of a certain age being bereft of facial hair seen as strange and undignified in appearance.
Lifespans: With an appreciation and sometimes expectation to take part in wars or defending the Northern lands they call home, the lifespan of the Kaltic could be lower than the average human for both men and women, but otherwise remains the same.
Languages: Rede is omnipresent among both the nobility and peasants, but the accent is different. Those of poorer families in the Kaltstaat will speak it less formally than those of the noble cast, and one’s accent is often a clue to their family’s status in society.
The Kalts are very similar in physiology to that of the Anhalder, but some notable differences are in both height and build. As height is an aesthetic ideal everywhere but especially in the Kaltstaat, both men and women tend to be slightly taller than those of other cultures on average. The isolated lineage of the Kalts has also shaped their countenance slightly, and the stereotypical “Kaltic look” means a very sharply defined, angular face.
Dark hair is extremely commonplace, to the point of lighter haired children being exclusively the right of immigrants and those who have married their ilk.
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PERSONALITY & PHILOSOPHY
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The Kaltic are as much capable of love and expression as much as anyone else, but the Kaltic are much more muted about it than contemporary cultures may find the norm. While a Kaltlander may smile and laugh and joke, the expressions may seem so subdued to an outsider as to give the impression of stoic indifference.
A common sharply divisive issue in the Kaltstaat is the delineation between the arcane and the divine. Across every class of society, peasant and noble alike, the Kalts tend to either one of two extremes. The divine is paramount, and arcane is a terrible influence. Or that arcane is paramount, and the divine is of tremendous influence. This divide has to do with the history of the people.
The nobility of the Kanes, which those who wish to move up in society (everyone) tends to emulate, have always had a strong arcane tradition. Their southron overlords owed their dominance to God, by contrast. No Kane in recorded history has been what could be called “devout,” for it is not the custom of the noble family, and many have been extremely prominent mages and have married prominent mages.
This does not stop those who worship the divine from moving in, however. The divine having been a tool of oppression in the Kaltstaat for night a century or more, however, has left a very sour taste in the mouth of many Kalts. The divine, by contrast, tend to consider magic an aberration and those who use it to be misguided. In isolation from the rest of the world by frozen shores and barren mountains, the ideals and doctrines of peaceful coexistence have had a hard time migrating to the north.
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LANGUAGE & LIFESTYLE
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Common is the first language learned by commoner and noble alike, as a rule, but the difference lies in how they are taught Rede. The nobility will seek out tutors who have learned the language with academic precision, whereas the common man will be forced to seek out someone local to his or herself who still speaks it from the days of Anhalder domination. This is the cause of the disparity in accent, not to mention the lack of mingling between the classes.
Life in the north is harsh. Long and cold winters means that food is often scarce, and in the height of winter with snow mounds as tall as castle walls, fighting for what little there is is common. In light of this, menfolk are expected to learn to defend their communities and families, and often band together in militia with one another on a volunteer basis. Women learning to fight is neither encouraged nor discouraged, without the same societal pressure as men. It is, however, an acknowledged cultural truth that men are better built to that end.
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Elz

hmm
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GEOGRAPHY
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The defining characteristic of the Kaltic homeland is its isolation - which can breed community. In the darkest depths of the winter, the most outlying settlements will often be forced to gather up their grain and belongings, and move into buildings within the city to bunk with distant familial relations. The snow can pile up to be dozens of feet thick, as tall as the walls of Queensport itself.
To the west is a shore that freezes over in the winter, isolating them even from sea travel. To the north is the sheer tundra which dominates the north so thoroughly that overland travel is impossible. To the east are barren mountains which in the winter have their paths left entirely undefended, for they are impassable except in summer. To the south along the shore one encounters the dead lands, after days of travel. It is harsh enough, but if one must leave in winter it is the only logical place to do so.
Come spring, the cycle begins all over again. Much of the city of Queensport is left derelict and empty until autumn or winter, as the peasants leave back to their fields to reclaim them from the wilderness, huntsmen venture back into the woods, merchants free their ships from the ice, and so on.
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CALENDAR & CUSTOMS
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The Kaltstaat goes by the same calendar as Anhald, having never felt the need to change despite the gradual separation. This calendar begins in the Month of Kings, mostly known as Fogwater (September), after the coronation of the first Kaiser Charles. The calendar operates as follows:

[Real - Common - Anhald]

September - Fogwater - Month of Kings
October - Ghostmoon - Month of Fallow
November - Stormwind - Month of Frost
December - Winterfeast - Month of Snow
January - Snowdown - Month of Ice
February - Floodlock - Month of Winds
March - Springrise - Month of Floods
April - Truebirth - Month of Storms
May - Sporebloom - Month of Sowing
June - Lightshine - Month of Dawn
July - Sunbright - Month of Light
August - Mistset - Month of Faith

It is custom to celebrate the 16th name day for both genders as this marks the day they are considered an adult in Kaltstaat society - And this is generally done with a sort of feat of strength or will. Be it swimming in the icy waters of the coast, or attending a hunt for a beast, it is rejoiced with much drinks and festivities afterwards as a reprieve from the, at times, harsh way of life in the North.
Weddings are varied, what with the divide between the Arcane and the Divine, and whilst it is uncommon, a Mage can be the one to officiate a ceremony as much as a priest can. These ceremonies can be large, grand affairs, or small and private ones. It is however tradition for the groom to be wearing a weapon on his person and for some oath to be sworn regarding protecting the family, and after a night of celebration a period of three days is given to the newlyweds to adjust and spend time together with no obligations to work or duties beyond the new household.
When someone from the Kaltstaat dies, they are either placed in crypts or they are cremated, not only for the ground being too cold to dig graves in but also because being buried in the cold ground is considered a punishment. Great pyres will be made with offerings and items of importance to the deceased, and it will be overseen by a priest, mage, or the head of the family. Crypts will hold a similar ceremony and the items of importance kept within them. Regardless of which ceremony takes place, a night of festivities occurs after, to celebrate the life of the one lost.
The birth of a newborn is another cause for celebration, often marked by a grand bonfire to announce the brightness of new life in the otherwise cold and harsh Northern climate. Gifts are sent to the new parents that aim to help them in the process of raising a newborn, and the family comes together to celebrate even if they live quite the distance. It is common to give them a middle name, one of Kaltic history or reference to nobility.
A common and pervasive theme in Kaltic art is that height in both women and men is an aesthetic ideal, and in works of art the height of an individual is often equated with their status or prestige - even if in reality a general was shorter than his men, in mosaic and prose he will often be described or shown as towering over them. The term for this is “hieratic scaling.”

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POLITICS & HIERARCHY
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A brief summary of the threads which may be found in the Kane House section:
The Kaltstaat has no real legislative body outside of the whims of the monarchy, with the nobility expected to negotiate with each other in open forum, with the monarch or a representative thereof overseeing the process. While theoretically anyone could become a member of this open forum, however the preconditions for membership and disruptions of livelihood preclude the common peasant from being a frequent attendant. With that said, the doors are not closed, and even foreigners are allowed to sit in the gallery of assemblies and watch.
There is a dichotomy in land ownership. Some noble estates are the property of the monarchy and shall be taken away at their will, while others are under the direct ownership of the nobles who rule the land. It is one of the idiosyncrasies at court which may disrupt foreign nationals from understanding what is happening.
The actual hierarchy is actually quite streamlined, something not seen in other courts. One’s rank in the assembly of nobles corresponds with their personal gravitas among their peers. There are laws against knowingly disrespecting someone of higher rank, and as the roles can be personally bestowed or stripped by the monarchy, it is uncommon for there to be disparity in the ranks.
And it is, of course, an unwritten assumption that the nobility are entirely beholden to the reigning monarchy.
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Elz

hmm
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MILITARY & WARFARE
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Despite the growing rift between a true Anhalder and those of the Kaltstaat, the military remains ranked and organised in a way that does not deviate enough to be too noticeable. The Kaltic peoples are perhaps not as focused or driven by warfare, but the primary need and desire to protect both crown and fellow countrymen is a strong foundation.
The Kaltstaat does have more of a connection to the sea however, and has done since the city of Queensport was founded, and so as a natural process has gained itself a small naval force that aims to keep its waters safe as a result of attacks from the sea itself in the past. It is not yet a significant naval power, but it is an addition and difference to the ground forces from the era of Anhald.
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FASHION
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It is common for men to dress in what would in other cultures be considered military garb. Gambesons, aketons, coats of plate, these are all considered polite ways to keep oneself at the ready. Visible chain or plate is something considered to be worn only in war or times of strife, for it tends to make people uncomfortable to sit across from a man with a sword and a breastplate if they are but a forester, and therefore deeply impolite. The colors tend to favor a darker hue, unless they are representing the colors of a noble house.
Women however, whilst the tighter gowns that expose little skin remain the most common garment, are no longer bound to covering their hair nor restricting themselves to the more typical feminine garments. Trousers and tall riding boots are not frowned upon, and gambesons are notable even amongst this gender though far less commonplace. Nobility tend to wear gowns of thick, quality fabric, accompanied by fur shawls, and the colours remain darker unless again, representing a house.
Furs regularly accompany any outfit, be it in times of war or peace, regardless of social standing. To not own furs of some variety would suggest the family is poor or very new to the Kaltstaat. They originally became a staple for the warmth they provided.
Jewellery is not as rare as it once was, and many families have heirlooms and items of worth passed down the generations. It is easily imported, too, though with various mines in the Kaltstaat it is likely that silver jewellery and onyx gemstones stand out as a Kaltic preference.
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CREDITS
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Credit to Cap for the original Anhalder lore and layout.
Credit to blargtheawesome for edits and all of you that proofread.
Art credit for the first and second post to; artstation.com/ludongbiao
Art credit for the third post to; deviantart.com/reneaigner

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