Conquest of the New World
Vodacce has always been about power. It produced the largest empire in the history of the known world, and served as the birthplace of the Vaticine Church. It has been the seat for some of mankind’s greatest achievements, but is also a painful reminder of humanity’s corruptible state. Internal strife has plagued the region for centuries. Schemes among the ruling Merchant Princes destroy the guilty and innocent with equal ease. Noble women, rumoured to often wield sorcererous power, are kept illiterate by their fathers and husbands so as not to threaten male authority. Quick tempers often lead to quick swords.
In Vodacce, might still makes right.
The people of Vodacce, from the Merchant Princes to the lowliest peasants, are known for their pride. Their tempers are often as quick as their blades, and the last man standing is always in the right. There is a profound respect for strength and power that keeps the social hierarchy in place. Cowardice is the ultimate faux pas; a man’s reputation will suffer a fatal blow if he refuses a duel, and challenges take place over the most minor and imagined slights. Fortunately, not all fights are fatal, but all are equally important.
Vodacce men consider romance a virtue, even through most marriages are arranged. While a man might respect his wife, his truest love is often reserved for the courtesans. A woman of good breeding learns modesty and humility, but professional courtesans are not bound by such rules. They are educated, witty, and learn not only to be comfortable with their sexuality but to use it as a means of control. They make perfect companions, able to visit places and experience things forbidden to “proper” women. All courtesans are easily recognizable from their lush costumes, glittering jewels, and decorative masks.
While the courtesans are some of the most educated women in Euros, the women of nobility are the least. Those born to privledge never learn to read; as such an activity is considered vulgar for “noble” women. Noblewomen are expected to serve their fathers and eventual husbands without question, a practice meant to keep their supposed sorcery in check. They wear modest black dresses and cover their faces in public with thick, black veils so their eyes will never meet a man’s who is not their husband. The staple of the Vodacce diet is rice and seafood. Pasta has made its way from the Crescent Empire and is also a popular dish. Merchants and the nobility are able to import foods from all around the world and enjoy quite a variety at mealtime.
Family is of great importance in the islands for both high and lowborn. Professions often pass down from father to son, and the father’s reputation usually determines the son’s fortunes.