Society and Customs of the Animarian Kingdom
There are many customs and little societal nuances that are brushed upon in "Legends Of Animaria", but few are discussed in detail. Here, you can find them all explained (in alphabetical order) away and fleshed out for your better understanding of the story. :) Not everything is here at the moment, as I am slowly adding little by little on.
Animarian Army: The army of the kingdom of Animaria. There haven't been any wars in Animaria in quite a long time, so obviously the army's main purpose to exist isn't really a threat. In words of Opaline, "I know that a soldier's studies incorporate a very large amount about our guardians; the soldiers are supposed to be their messengers! Doing their duty at a smaller level!" The army is seen as an extention of the Wildzords, protecting and watching over the kingdom where the Wildzords can't. Thus, why the Wolfzord is the army's wildzord: the Wolfzord protects the Wildzords like the Animarian Army protects the people of Animaria.
Auras: All Animarians have auras which only magic users (the majority either part of the Wildzord Clan or Healers) can sense. Each aura is unique - like a fingerprint - with their own specfic color and vibration. The auras normally change with mood or a change in the body chemistry of an person.
Blessings: Before the three major meals, the head of the family must give the family his or her blessing to eat. In the case of the Animarian Army and the Wildzord Clan, the blessings before meals may be longer as they are used as information sessions as well - either describing what will happen during the day or what has already taken place earlier in the day.
Castle of Tribute: The castle within the capital city of Animaria, Tribute, where the royal family and the High Priestess of Animaria reside and where the Animarian Army is based.
Captain of the Animarian Army: The second highest position in the Animarian Army. The captain is the right-hand man to the General of the Animarian Army and does everything that the general doesn't: assigns posts to the soldiers, makes daily rounds to posts, etc. Acension from this position occurs either if the general either resigns or passes away.
Courting: When a man wants to court a woman, he usually approaches the head of the woman's family and asks permission, placing a "claim" on the woman. Normally, courting between the two lasts for two seasons, either ending in engagement or a parting of ways. Sexual activity during courting is forbidden. Courting within noble families and the higher circles of Animarian society is more complex as a man must receive permission from both the head of the woman's family and the king before he allowed to place a "claim," which must be announced in Royal Court. Engagement or sexual activity before courting is considered a taboo in Animarian society.
Deerzord: The wildzord of the Wildzord Clan. Seen as the Wildzord with the strongest connection to the Animarian people. Celebrated once a year through the Deerzord Festival.
Deerzord Festival: A fourteen-day festival devoted to the Wildzord of the Wildzord Clan that bridges the end of autumn and welcomes the winter. It is at this one time every year that Animarians make the pligrimmage to the Deerzord Sanctuary within the Wildzord Sanctuary where they give theirs thanks and pray for short winter season. This is the only time of the year that the Virginal Does are allowed to associate with the public as well, as they are the keepers of the Deerzord Sanctuary. Though devoted to the Deerzord, the festival encompasses all the Wildzords and almost every night there is some special ceremony or play put on in the name of the Wildzords.
East Wing of Wildzord Sanctuary: Only the priestesses, priests, and Virginal Does are allowed this wing as it is their living quarters. It is viewed by the Fawns as the "ultimate" privilege upon becoming a priest/priestess: to be allowed entrance into the forbidden wing.
Engagement necklace: It serves the same purpose as an engagement ring in Western society and is usually presented to a woman after a successful courtship. After marriage, the wife may wear the necklace on rare occasions. Some engagement necklaces are passed down through families, especially within the noble families and normally, the oldest son has the right to the engagement necklace over his other siblings.
Fawns: Children recruited into the Wildzord Clan at the age of five years. They are trained to become future priests and priestesses of the clan. Their training lasts for twelve years and during that time, they are educated in the myths and traditions of the Wildzords as well as in sorcery. The lowest status of a member of the Wildzord Clan. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
Feast of the Wolfzord: A feast held in honor of the Wolfzord at every full moon. In the days prior to the feast, Animarians make sure to give their prayers to the Wolfzord whether it be through the vebal saying of it or actually visiting the Wolfzord Sanctuary; on the night of the full moon, the High Priest/Priestess of Animaria makes the ritual sacrifice at the Sanctuary. Also on that night, Animarians all over the kingdom hold feasts in honor of the Wolfzord and the protection he offers their kingdom.
General of the Animarian Army: The highest position in the Animarian Army. Commands the entire army and presides over the training of the training reigment. Shares many responsibilities with the High Priestess of Animaria (i.e. serving as her official escort) and only the priestess.
High Priest/Priestess of Animaria: The highest religious position in all of Animaria and supposed to have the purest connection with the Wildzords. Like the village priests/priestesses, serves as a representative of the clan to the Castle of Tribute - mainly the army and the royal family of Animaria. Teaches the training regiment of the army of the myths and traditions of the Wildzords to help them understand their place in Animarian society as a part of the army. All sacrifices and rituals within Tribute are preformed by the High Priest/Priestess. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
High Priest/Priestess of the Wildzord Clan: Second highest position in the Wildzord Clan and presides over the entire Wildzord Clan. They are the main teacher of the Fawns, exclusively supervising them in their sorcery training. Along with the High Priest/Priestess of Animaria, they handpick the incoming Fawns for each year. Acension from the position follows the resignation or passing of the former High Priest/Priestess of Animaria. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
Mourning period: The period - five years long - following the death of a spouse. During this time period, the widow/widower is not supposed to be involved in any romantic relationships or any activities that would be viewed as disrespectful to the deceased spouse's memory. Not so much a rigid, set-forth law, but a social custom that has been passed down through the generations. TO break the mourning period is to be considered a huge social taboo in almost all circles of Animarian society.
Royal Court: The Royal Court serves as the assembly in which decisions about the kingdom are made, but also serves as the focal point of the nobles' social scene - if anything is happening to any noble family, it is announced there. The king of Animaria presides over the court and one representative from each noble family serves the court. The Royal Court representatives live in the Castle of Tribute while the rest of their noble family resides on their estate.
Seasonal Recess: Basically, seasonal recess is a week-long break for both the Fawns and the training regiment so that the children may visit their families and homes. Each seasonal recess corresponds with the arrival of the first full moon of each of the four seasons. Like Spring Break four times a year. *grin*
Sanctuary Priest/Priestess: The Sanctuary Priest or Priestess presides over the daily activities of the Wildzord Sanctuary and helps in the training of the Fawns. The predecessor of the position usually chooses the new Sanctuary Priest or Priestess and if the former priest/priestess passes away, the High Priest/Priestess of the Wildzord Clan handpicks the replacement. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
Training Regiment: Boys are usually recruited at the age of five years into the regiment to train and study to become part of the elite Animarian Army. The General of the Animarian Army trains the boys in fighting skills as well as military tactics. They also study under the High Priestess of Animaria learning about the Wildzords and about their place in society. After completing twelve years of study and training, they join the Animarian Army as soldiers of the kingdom.
Village Priests/Priestesses: After being a Fawn, one may become this. One priest/priestess serves each village in the Animarian kingdom, providing a connection to the Wildzords for the villagers, as well as giving recommendations for children who show potential for joining the clan as Fawns. They are obliged to serve five years as such, and afterwards, may leave the Wildzord Clan of their free will at any time they might wish. Many may remain in this position for their entire lives, if they chose to stay with the clan. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
Virginal Does: If one doesn't choose to become a village priest/priestess, one becomes a Virginal Doe - referred to as Does for short. Virginal Does are female virgin members of the Wildzord Clan that had devoted themselves and their lives to the Wildzord of the clan: the Deerzord. Along with the Sanctuary Priest/Priestess, they keep the Wildzord Sanctuary running while also making daily offerings to the Deerzord; no other member of the Wildzord Clan has authority to do such a thing - not even the High Priest/Priestess of Animaria. (see Wildzord Clan for the clan's hierarchy system)
Wildzords: All the Wildzords are worshipped in the same manner that the Roman and Greek gods once were, except for the obvious "no animal" sacrifices. *grin* Some of the major Wildzords (i.e. Lionzord, Wolfzord, Deerzord) have actual celebrations in their honor, while other Wildzords are simply worshipped through prayer, tributes, and sacrifices. The Wildzords' connection to the Animarian world is through the Wildzord Clan.
Wildzord Clan: The Wildzord Clan in the religious sect of Animarian society. They reside in the Wildzord Clan Sanctuary - most of the time referred to as just the Sanctuary - which is somewhat like the Vatican in its renowned prestige, but not as restrictive to the public. The hierarchy of the Clan is as shown in the diagram below:
Wolfzord: The Wildzord of the Animarian Army and of the Batilon family. It is celebrated every month at the full moon with a large feast and storytelling. The people of Animaria see it as the protector of all the Wildzords.
Wolfzord Sanctuary: The place of worship exclusively devoted to the Wolfzord. The High Priest/Priestess of Animaria does her ritual sacrifice for the Wolfzord here on every full moon.
Yearlings: This is what the first-year Fawns are called because they are the newest clan members for the year.