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Dominion Culture & Customs

Tulaki Saurian dressed for combat

Dominion culture is primarily an extension of the Path of Tulak, the religious doctrine of the Tulaki species. Most social rituals are centred around religious practice, and trying to attract the attention of the Immortal Spirits. The faith exalts those who succeed in their chosen path, and much of Tulaki society revolves around competition, striving towards greater accomplishments, and then seeking recognition for those accomplishments. Failure while striving to do great things is rarely punished severely, but those who lack drive and ambition are looked down upon by Dominion society as “weak-spirited”. In war, victory is more important than things like revenge and killing, and the Tulaki are interested in conquest more than annihilation. Those who are willing to submit to them are integrated into the Dominion as vassals, and if they prove strong enough, to participate in Tulaki society.

The culture of the Dominion lends itself heavily to ceremony and ritual, both personal and as a community. Social gatherings are encouraged, and used as opportunities to boast about one's accomplishments, size up potential rivals or build connections with allies. A group or person's successes might be highlighted and ceremonially recognised by Priests, used as an example to inspire others present, and hopefully draw the attention of the Immortal Spirits. Some ceremonies take the form of declaring your personal goals to a group, or declaring when you have achieved them. Disputes are often resolved by ritualised competitions and challenges, normally administered or judged by a Priest or senior Hero regarded as an expert in the field of the competition. Part of the reason for these public ceremonies is for the Priests to apply a sense of community to what would otherwise be a highly individualistic faith.

Dominion Heroes revel in the benefits their status brings

The framework of the Path provides the two main modes of advancement and status in Dominion society - the path of the Hero and of the Priest. Heroes are those who are attempting to join the ranks of the Immortal Spirits by superlative achievement in their chosen field, and are afforded status and power as successful and powerful individuals. Priests, on the other hand, have deliberately eschewed the journey towards immortality in order to guide and help others on that journey. Priests are afforded great respect for this choice, and almost all adherents of the Path will listen to the advance and guidance of a Priest. Prominent heroes are typically what outsiders picture when thinking of the Dominion - larger-than-life individuals who boast about their past achievements and are always on the look-out for opportunities to compete or challenge themselves.

Since they have abandoned the quest for individual greatness, Priests are also trusted to be the binding glue that holds Dominion society together. The Dominion is effectively “ruled” by the priesthood, as they are trusted to make decisions for the good of the society as a whole, and in doing so create opportunities for others to excel. They rarely take leadership roles, however, but are commonly found at a Heroic leader's side, offering advice and guidance. Priests have their own internal hierarchy, usually based on their influence and how much the general populace trusts and follows their teachings. Priests with sufficient status will be invited to learn new ceremonies, and may be consulted in decisions about the overall direction of a planet, fleet, or possibly even the Dominion as a whole. Although Priests who abuse their special status in Dominion society are looked upon very poorly, and may be subjected to sanctions by a group of their peers. Because of this, priests who seek greater power and influence are careful to tow the line, or make any adjustments slowly and after sounding out or convincing a network of supporting priests, while also attaching themselves to some high-profile Heroes and distributing fairly popular teachings.

In play, Dominion characters will be expected to participate in group ceremonies at events, in particular a Challenge Moot. In these meetings, characters are encouraged to declare their goals to those present, boast about their achievements and challenge each other. If characters repeatedly avoid these public occasions, then other characters are likely to view them as strange and endangering their spirits.

dominion_culture.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/13 16:55 (external edit)