The Imperial Humans are sub-species of Human known for being the high class, former nobility of the human Republic. Imperials are usually very easily spotted in their high collars and gloved hands, as well as their penchant for double first names (Emmeline-Grace, Jonathon-Everett). Imperials are notoriously stereotyped as being snobbish, socially adroit and cunning but their history is also sprinkled with the philanthropy and kindness all humans are known for.
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A good deal of the attitudes and customs of the humans that identify as Imperial come from the Silverthorn Empire era of human history. The Silverthorn Empire was the former major human government for almost 700 years. It was dissolved into a representative form of government in the year 1802 (66 years ago) by the last empress, Viola-Rose Harewood Silverthorn. She inherited the throne three weeks before her 21st birthday. Having the love of the people and possessing the forethought to note that the power of the nobility was waning at the hands of the rising merchant class, she proclaimed all of humanity free of imperial rule and proposed that they adopt a government similar to that of their Durren allies. Though officially the name of the human nation is now the Confederacy of Allied Republics, old habits die hard and many humans who identify as Imperial still refer to it as The Empire.
The Silverthorn Empire has several dark points in its history. First and foremost, it was very war-like and aggressive during its early days, hence why the northern continent of Lerna and small bits of the southern continent of Calydon are completely controlled by the humans. It was the Silverthorn Empire that convinced the Dur and Nisse to move from simply fighting off Orcs to engaging in a globe spanning program of purging them from Calydon and Lerna, plunging the whole world into war for over 50 years. They also enslaved Goblins for 100 years before setting the creatures free as their own people in 1668. Even after they became a Republic, it was intolerant Imperial humans that lead to the Wayfarers breaking away from the greater human society and considering themselves a distinct people.
Imperial Humans have always been ruled by their passions, and it is these same passions that have lead some Imperial humans to buck against the status quo to right the very wrongs that their people have done to this world, after all it was Emperor Maximus-Alexander Silverthorn who convinced the other species of the world to sign the Accord of the Crimson Ravine. There are many Imperials who use their vast wealth and influence for philanthropic endeavors instead. This is what intrinsically divides Imperials from the rest human society, it is their belief that it is their birthright to guide the rest of human society through the use of influence, wealth, and political activism, even if the rest of humanity does not quite see eye-to-eye with Imperial traditionalists.
Government and Politics
Imperial family units tend to be smaller, partners only having one to two children per household, very occasionally three. Imperials are inclined to adopt children into their family, though the child is usually of at least partial Imperial blood as well.
Imperials use the Kroner system and usually feel that utilizing a barter or other trade system is debasing and beneath them. They have no issue doing business with the other "full-breed" species, though a Goblinite would have to be of a particularly high caliber for an Imperial to want to do business directly with them.
The Imperial social ladder is mostly determined by outward displays of wealth, so there is much for Imperials to value—large or multiple dwellings, opulent clothing, well-maintained weaponry, the latest steam technology, cutting edge alchemical brews and tonics, and so on.
Imperials could be considered migratory, in that wealthier families will have seasonal homes and less wealthy will rent a home for several months of the year if they have business in a different area or just want to get away from dislikeable weather.
Imperial Humans view most outside competitive business organizations as offering inferior products or services and preferring to keep the Kroner circulating amongst themselves. Imperials do not concern themselves with the religions of others, meaning they follow their own beliefs and do not begrudge others theirs. There are no recognized economies outside of the Kroner system as far as Imperials are concerned.
Culture & Traditions
The Confederacy of Allied Republics is ruled over by the governing body known as Parliament. Each individual republic elects a Governor and a Parliamentary representative. Governors take care of all of the politics and governance of a Republic within its borders, the Republic Representative takes care of all of the politics between their republics and the others, as well as helping to shape policy for the confederacy as a whole. The Parliament then elects the Prime Minister who is the ultimate administrative commander in chief for the Confederated Government and responsible for representing the Confederacy to the rest of the world.
The Imperials are some of the wealthiest intelligent species in Sha'uru, perhaps only second to the Vuono Dur. The vast majority are investors, venture capitalists, lawyers and judges, scientific and surgical equipment manufacturers, and surgeons. Children tend to work in the same field as their parents either by inheritance or by moving away and starting a similar trade in a different region using a generous loan from their familial relations.
Republic Day (July 13th) is a celebrated holiday by the Imperials, usually involving fireworks and a lot of food.
The Feast of the Solstice (December 21) is celebrated by Imperials, though in a way slightly apart from most species. The day is taken as an opportunity to give back to the less fortunate; donating old or out of fashion clothing, providing donations to Goblinite orphanages, or bringing food (usually simple soups or bread) to congregations of the needy. After the sun has set and their duties fulfilled, the Imperials then return to their homes and celebrate with gifts, food, and merriment.
Weddings are usually a subtly competitive occasion with each family trying to outdo the other by offering the largest dowry, providing more beautiful gifts or financially assisting in the celebration more. In Imperial society, all individuals are expected to bring a dowry with them, regardless of gender or number of individuals getting married. Should an Imperial be joining a previously established marriage, only the newcomer(s) is/are expected to bring a dowry.
Despite the outward appearance of avariciousness, Imperials can be quite humanitarian. The bulk of their effort goes to helping less fortunate Imperials and Imperial-Halflings, and is carefully balanced such that those Imperials-in-need do not accidentally attain higher status than those helping them, so it is entirely possible that the Imperial's better nature never reaches foreign ears due to their keeping it so under wraps.
An Imperial would not willingly touch a non-Imperial they do not know without a barrier between them. It is very seldom they would touch even someone they do know without barrier.
Imperials who cause lasting harm to their Homunculi in the way of scarring, branding, damaging, etc are typically avoided by mainstream Imperial society and looked down upon. There are stories of monstrous Imperials of yore who experimented on and tried replicating Homunculi to disastrous effect, causing a ripple of ill-will toward them from most of the other species for many years. The vast majority of Imperials value their reputation greatly and do not wish for that to happen again.
There is a story of an old Imperial businessperson, Mx. Jaylin-Cameron Mayweather, who was incredibly harsh on their employees. Mayweather forced their employees to work on all holidays and allowed no sick days and only Saturday off. Years passed as Mayweather worked their employees and Homunculi to the bone, rumors playing that they may have even worked some to death. The evening before the Feast of the Solstice, after Mayweather lay down to sleep, they were visited by three Aetheric beings; a Kobold, a Gnome, and a Homunculi, who all looked strangely like former employees of theirs. These beings were different though. Without the aid of goggles, Mayweather could see them glow a bright bluish light and they could speak directly to these beings. Mayweather was shown how their treatment of these individuals spread to the families and friends of those employees and was further shown a bleak future full of financial ruin, poor health and an eventual lonely, pathetic death if Mayweather did not change their ways. The next day, Mayweather sent their employees home with large holiday bonuses and made huge donations to three local orphanages. It is believed this is where the Imperial tradition of giving originated.
In some parts of Imperial lands it is believed that adder stones (stones with a naturally occurring hole in the middle) can bring good luck, so they are sometimes sold as necklaces on leather or metal chains, brooches, earrings, cufflinks, etc.
There is an old spouse's tale that children born at the seventh bell chime are better able to see aetheric beings. There is no conclusive evidence that this is true, but the tale persists.
Dur—The Vuono Dur and the Imperials are very similar in mannerisms and outlook (both politically and socially) and thus get along quite well. Imperials find the Vrachos Dur underground cities to be dank, antiquated, and eerie though the Vrachos themselves are of solid character. Ouranos Dur make interesting entertainment on a weekend evening, to an Imperial, but are otherwise eccentric and taxing to deal with. Some of the more affluent, and perhaps more sadistic, Imperials may also find a bit of joy in pitting Vuono and Ouranos acquaintances or businesses against each other, or sending Vand Nisse/half-Vand Kobolds to the Ouranos as delegates for their business purposes.
Nisse—The Imperials are very impressed with the Slagte Nisse and their skills, though they find it frustrating how infrequently their contracts are taken up. Time and again an Imperial will offer far more than the standard contract fee and will be turned down. Imperials tend to prefer the Ouranos aetherships over the slower Vand Nisse sea ships, but if they're going to use a ship they almost always utilize a Vand ship. The Vand Nisse do not turn down good Kroner, especially when offered in amounts that far exceed other offers they typically receive.
Other Humans—Imperials find the Wayfaring Seekers beliefs to be ludicrous and the 'death of magic' a fools errand better left to the Afsla Nisse. The Wayfarers charismatic tendencies means the Imperials are not too hard on them for it. Tribes of Barlethan and Imperials very rarely come into contact due to their preferred ways of life. However, when they do come into close contact, it is often terse and overly formal.
Goblinites—Many Imperials do not treat their Halfling children any differently than their fully human children with only one caveat; a Halfling child would never be named their heir. Most Halflings wouldn't stick around long enough for it to matter after reaching adulthood anyway. However, other Halflings are viewed as hired labor and not much else. Imperials are not fond of Gnomes, finding their general way of life (amongst the dirt and rock in the Sunless Roads) grotesque and unclean. On the other hand though, they are overly fond of Gnomish cuisine, often willing to pay exorbitant prices to have such delicacies available during house parties and holidays. Kobold ego and Imperial pride fiercely conflict with one another. It is often mistaken that Imperials are racist against Kobolds for not being of pure blood when in reality, it's just that they aren't Imperials. Imperials are the most likely of any species to own a Homunculi, or several. Treatment of Homunculi runs the gamut of kindliness, though they would never harm another Imperials Homunculi unless in self defense or if given express permission. Despite fairly loose laws regarding the treatment of Homunculi, Imperials strictly enforce the Sha'uru-wide law that it is illegal to kill a Homunculus unless they are given the death penalty by a court of law.
Goblins—Imperials are the largest consumers of Goblin alchemies and Homunculus purchases. It galls them greatly that Goblins refuse outright to sell a non-sentient Homunculi to them. There are rumors that Imperials in the old days have offered over a million Kroner for a non-sentient Homunculi only to have the Goblin laugh in their face.
The gloves they constantly wear and high collars are not only a status and fashion symbol, but a safeguard against having to touch the many species they find to be "beneath" them. As Imperials do a lot of business, and handshakes are a customary greeting in Calydon and Lerna, they cannot refuse such a tradition, but they can protect themselves in this way.
Despite the front that most Imperials put on, the reality of the situation is that a great deal of Imperial families have fallen into ruin as commoners begin to innovate and grow rich without the influence or help of the great houses. Some families have even turned to organized crime in order to maintain the level of wealth for which they are accustomed to.