Lunar Empire

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Sun--Moon--Man--God--Apostasies--Apotheosis

Eclipse * History * The Solar Empire * The Lunar Empire * Locations * Cast

The Lunar Empire
Political Information
CapitalAyu
GovernmentMeritocratic Empire
Leader(s)Emperor Rahu
Population20 million
WealthHigh
Importssugar cane, gold, silver, fine clothing
Exportssalt, lumber
Societal Information
Language(s)Skyfall Tongue
Religion(s)Disciples of Chandra
TechnologyMiddle Ages with advances

The people of the Lunar Empire have dark hair and wheat-colored skin, like all natives of the Skyfalls. They feel far more at home beneath the night sky, always masters of stealth.

Culture

Except on formal occasions, lunars wear light loose clothing, often no more than a long loin cloth for men. Soldiers, however, both men and women, wear trousers, often cut off at the knees. Along with such trousers, they typically wear loose shirts, sometimes barongs imported from the solars.

Lunar marriage ceremonies are loose and simple. A man and woman need only proclaim their love before their peers and a priest, and kiss, and they are wed. The wedding then moves to the more important celebration--music, dancing, and feasting from moonrise until dawn.

Though they grow little sugar cane themselves, lunars love sugar. They will eat it alone, or baked into sweet breads. They also make fruit stuffed cookies coated in powdered sugar. Lunars also love meat; the hunt is an almost religious event for them. They hunt boar above all else, but will also hunt fowl. They slaughter oxen only if game is scare and a feast is needed. They also grow peanuts and gather local fruits like bananas and pineapples.

Lunar architecture, especially in Ayu, features dramatic spires which reach for the sky. Gargoyles adorn these towers which shadow the city streets, while flying buttresses support the towers. Sky bridges sometimes connect the towers. Rather than the light reflecting crystal panes solars use, lunar buildings often feature shadowed grates or stained glass over the windows.

Gongs, drums, and symbols form the basis of lunar music, often accompanied by bamboo reed instruments. While excited and primal at wedding and other celebrations, lunar music is other times often haunting and mournful. Lunars dance to the primal sounds, but only sway and allow themselves to be swept up in the mournful songs. Lunars love theater, especially performances that can evoke strong emotions such as tragedies. They love to laugh and they love to cry, and any performance that can evoke both they call a masterpiece. They take little interest in painting, but they appreciate sculpture. They keep dogs as pets and guards, but see the solars iguanas as pointless animals, since they can perform no function for their masters. Lunars consider the survival of the individual and especially the family far more important than honor; any action that furthers survival is justified in their eyes.

Religion

The lunar faith centers around the moon god, Chandra, whom they claim as their ancestor. Rather than a rigid hierarchy to the priesthood, it consists of a loose structure of individuals that have heard a special call from their god. These fall into two categories, moon priests, and novices. All moon priests hold equal rank--debates are settled by consensus, or if necessary, personal combat. After eighteen months service a novice becomes a full moon priest. Only the moon-touched can become moon priests, and further, all moon-touched are said to hold some religious authority.

The most sacred location in the moon faith is the Astral Temple. At this site, an astral observatory, they believe they can commune with Chandra and predict the future. To have lost the place is a great affront to their religion. Because of the loss of the Astral Temple, the lunars built the Moon Temple and made secrecy their greatest law. Only moon priests may know the location of this open-air temple, and they would kill even another lunar to preserve that secrecy. All ceremonies are conducted at night, usually beneath the full moon.

According to the lunar creation myth, the world was once only a vast ocean. The gods of heaven, seen now as the astral bodies, cast a rock into the sea. Algae covered this rock and from it grew worms that bored through the rock, creating soil. From the sun fell a wooden sword and from the moon fell a vine. These objects grew together into a great tree, and from that tree came man and woman. From this myth the Skyfalls derive their name; all the local tribes have a version of this myth.

Social Structure

Lunar society is meritocratic; the moon-touched have the most personal power, and thus dominate society. The lunar emperor Rahu rules, but his family retains power only so long as the rest of the families believe his family the strongest. Therianthropes, having great power, receive accolades, but not government positions like the moon-touched.

Lunars believe in a large extended family to which they are intensely loyal. Often several related families of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents may all share a common dwelling and are treated legally as a single family. Usually the most powerful or most cunning member of the household--who is not always the eldest--rises to dominance and commands the family.

Slaves form the lowest class in lunar society. They belong always to a family, never to an individual. Slaves are usually members of other lunar families that have fallen to the possessing family in a feud, or sometimes captured solars. Any slave that can overcome the family champion in single combat wins his or her freedom.

Military

The lunars don't maintain a standing army in the strictest since, excepting the lycanthropic legions. Instead powerful individuals attract bands of roving warriors which follow their charismatic lead, seeking glory or bounty. These bands may commonly lean towards piracy. However, the leaders of such bands always bow before the emperor, and thus, through the band leaders can command vast numbers of warriors. The lack of a formal military structure makes these bands ideal for guerrilla-style raids, but not well-suited to stand against a massed and disciplined solar army.

Many lunars hold powers they claim prove their descent from the moon god. These people are called moon-touched. Their powers very from one individual to the next but most often include the ability to use ritual spells. Additionally, many can use projections such as hydrokinesis, materialization, celerity, adroitness, free running, and sometimes telekinesis. However those that overuse such powers can lose themselves in a spiral of madness and megalomania; these people are called lunatics, the most powerful and most dangerous of all men.

The lunars have another great advantage over the solars: their lycanthropic legions. Using secret rituals, they have endowed non-nobles with animals spirits, creating a variety of were-creatures, most commonly werewolves (lycanthropes). Beneath the moonlight these creatures can take animal form, turning into an almost unstoppable force. Though less common, lunars have, in recent times, secretly been augmenting the wereshark bloodline to combat the solar navy.

Lunar warriors train in a fighting style that emphasizes lightning-fast strikes with two sticks made from rattan wood. The style focuses on practical and efficient ways to deal with one or more opponents, rather than flashy moves. Additionally, the martial art teaches to strike unarmed with kicks, punches, throws, and grapples. The style also focuses on defending against attack angles, not specific attacks.

Economy

Lunars rely primarily on a barter system, rather than currency; however, aragonite and precious stones or metals, and sometimes even solar pearls are excepted as trade commodities.

The main products lunars produce are lumber and salt, both of which they trade to the solars, usually for sugar or clothing. Most lunar families consider piracy an acceptable profession for an extended family, though they will of course fight against any pirates that attack them.

Law

Lunar society treats law as a matter of accepted mores rather than rigid rules. Most serious debates are settled with personal combat. A moon priest arbitrates only when absolutely necessary. A lunar found to have grossly violated the interests of society is exiled. Lesser violations often warrant reparations to the victims.