Rílin Culture & History
Traditional Rílin culture is based around the principles of harmony, equality, and pacifism. Violence is a very taboo subject, as is conflict, to a lesser extent. The value of equality has led the Ríli to have a very egalitarian society and a democratic government. The populus is governed by an elected council of sixty officials that are replaced every five years.
The most significant event in recent Rílin history is the military invasion by the Tosi, a warlike people of the Zuna species to the south. The invasion completely reshaped Rílin society, culture and philosophy. Prior to the invasion, the Ríli had no military and their religion and cultural values did not permit them to engage in defensive combat. Some decided to flee northward and hide in the deep, impenetrable forests there. Many of this group also took refuge in underground caverns beneath a mountain nearby; soon constructing subterranean settlements and eventually cities there.
This period of escape is known as The Flight. The Ríli that took refuge came to be known as the Lunauli, or “people of the darkness”. Their religion remained largely intact, but their societal values changed: strict hierarchies began to replace the original egalitarian system. However, many of the Ríli refused to abandon their homeland. They stayed, developed an army and determined to fight the Tosi. The Tosi had a definite military advantage in this situation being brilliant strategists, having massive armies of formidable and highly-trained warriors, and having made many conquests throughout their history of neighboring peoples across Elta. The Ríli, however, had a few natural advantages of their own; their neurology gave them a “sixth sense,” the ability to detect the neuro-electrical pulses of living brains at a distance of up to a kilometer (see Rílin Physiology). They also had extensive knowledge of their own territory, which consisted largely of deep forests that the Tosi, being largely desert-dwelling people, found difficult to deal with, militarily.
Domestic Lives and Common Personal Values of the Ríli
Work ethic is held in high regard, however, it is generally believed that personal happiness is paramount. The arts and sciences are greatly valued and often taken up as pursuits by amateurs in early and later adulthood. This may be related to the Rílin idea that one’s mind is kept healthiest when it is positively occupied.
The Rílin family unit typically consists of two parents and one or two children. Often the parents have extensive hobbies or personal activities that they pursue apart from their daily occupation, and thus many do not have children immediately upon marriage. Ríli are matrilocal, which means that the male goes to live in the household of the female for some time before the couple have their own household. The family name of a child is usually that of the male, however, this is not always the case. Babies are breastfed until around age four.
Ríli eat four meals per day. The first meal is taken in the morning and often consists of a sauce made from red berries with shredded nuts and seeds, called pɛɾut. The second meal is taken around noon. The third meal is taken around around 4pm. And the fourth meal is around 9pm. Seaside-dwelling Ríli love to eat steamed sea cucumber with pickled vegetables in a dish they call iʃnɛ.
The structure and size of houses depends on whether the family is seaside- or forest-dwelling. Space is more plentiful in the big forests and seaside locations with immediate ocean access are limited, so houses tend to be smaller and more compact, also because it is colder near the northern sea.
Pets are not particularly common, but sometimes small mammals might be kept; typically mice, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits. Trained birds, such as kestrels and falcons, are also used for hunting.
Perfume is worn by many individuals of varying demographics, but is most commonly worn by women in their mid- to late adulthood.
Cosmetics, however, are generally only worn by young men seeking to attract a mate. Most other people would only wear cosmetics during festivals or parties. Jewelry is common, and worn by everyone. Earrings are the most popular type of jewelry. Often individuals who wear no other jewelry will at the very least wear one earring. Gemstones are mined for use in jewelry as well as currency. Any gemstone or piece of precious metal can be used as currency; these particular pieces are called ika. Garnets, sapphires, turquoise, diamonds, agate, and two Aeniith-specific stones called tuɾi (a transluscent brownish-red and very hard gem) and naʃim (a soft blue gem) are also popular.
Women sometimes tattoo their feet with curvilinear designs or organic symbols relating to their identity, family, profession, or hobby.