Structure and Values
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Archaeron / Naisylvan Culture / Structure and Values

Naisylvan culture was heavily fragmented into warring kingdoms until around 150 B.I., when Oldria and Gedvianna began assembling them into a new coalition by force. By 52 B.I., when the Bear tribe’s first ambassadors met with sylvan representatives, New Oldria was organized under the first High King and High Queen.  Ever since, the traditional sylvan states have each had a monarch from the local line. Above those rulers sit the High King, of the Gedviannan line, and the High Queen, of the Oldrian line.
According to the Oldrian Accords and (admittedly young) tradition, the High King and High Queen have circumscribed domains within New Oldria. The High King is responsible for executing existing law, overseeing military action, and maintains diplomatic relations. The High Queen drafts legislation, distributes federal funds, and administrates the public courts.

Social standing is largely defined within the Colleges, which function much like trade guilds. Each College is based on one of the Paths: Agriculture, Science, Arts, Military, Craft, Magic, and Philosophy. Every adult noble sylph belongs to one of the Colleges, as determined by examinations when they reach adulthood. Which College a noble sylph belongs to matters more or less based on where they live, but the grades within the Colleges are always significant. Noble sylphs are either Followers (Durmaghoda), Speakers (Transaida), Scholars (Mallereda), or Leaders (Nordiseda). Each grade defines a social tier, and a noble sylph must pass examinations and trials administered by their College to advance. The theory of pure meritocracy falls short somewhat due to bribery and connection, but in practice the examinations do offer legitimate opportunities for noble sylphs to rise through social strata.

Between the Colleges and the strata of feudal government, Naisylvan society is extremely centralized and controlled. Everything the Imperium currently knows about their traditions indicates that this has always been the case. Noble sylphs seem to have extremely strong tendencies toward strict heirarchization.

The values of Naisylvan culture are heavily based on Ardensamei, the balance-based philosophy of Alveril and Naemel. Their holy books lay out the framework for a meritocracy at every level of society, including constant self-evaluation and –improvement. Noble sylphs place a great deal of value on knowledge and advancement within their Path.

Ardensamei has been dominant within Naisylvan culture for the entirety of known history, partially due to the ubiquity of the Arden religion. Since the Oldrian Accords, however, noble sylphs have begun to absorb some tendencies from the dual Madrite church. Many Arden churches have aligned themselves with either Alveril or Naemel, typically in unison with another church aligned to the opposite. In many places, there now exists a balance between two Arden churches rather than within the same organization. This concept of opposed advocacy has proven controversial, but is gaining a great deal of traction in the sylvan communities within Shiekli and Kaliba.