Moorva Marriage And Family

Moorvic people tend to have fluid family structures which change over time, as most unions are expected to eventually dissolve. There is a distinct divide between city-dwellers and those who live in more rural areas. Formal marriages are rare, usually the domain of the very wealthy or powerful; most people simply move in with one another with little fanfare. While Moorvic law recognizes unions with more than two people involved, most marriages are monogamous. There is no particular emphasis on childbearing.

The concept of marriage in Moorva is viewed as inherently transitive. It is not considered formal in most cases. Serial monogamy — or serial polyamory — is very common and many partnerships neither last nor are expected to endure beyond a few years. Moorvic society holds that a lasting relationship is much like winning at dice. Marriages are almost always secular unless one of the partners involved is a member of a group with its own wedding rites. Those who marry may opt to keep their surnames, change one name, or adopt an entirely new surname, though it is considered very rude to adopt a new name if one belongs to a particularly prestigious house unless the marriage is part of an organizational split.

Wedding ceremonies are viewed as the domain of the wealthy and powerful, with some nobles throwing lavish parties that last for days in honor of a successful marriage; the vast majority of Moorvic people simply opt to move in together or otherwise agree to commitment without bothering to legitimize their union further. Actual weddings are more common in rural areas than in urban ones, though these are more likely to be held in conjunction with an existing festival. Harvest celebrations or the beginning of spring both tend to see ceremonies that marry off multiple couples at once.

It is legal to be married to more than one person at a time, or to see people on the side, so long as one can support one's spouses; in spite of this, most unions are monogamous until they dissolve. The keeping of a harem (of either or both genders) is another luxury of the merchant class and is considered more of a show of wealth than virility.

Married or otherwise committed couples do not necessarily live with each other, especially if regular travel is involved. It is generally up to the people involved as to how devoted their relationship is. The legal system of Moorva assumes that any given relationship will have its own set of boundaries and refuses to get involved in domestic affairs unless property is involved. Misunderstanding boundaries is one of the more common reasons why a couple will break up, and it's becoming increasingly popular to draft a short contract before becoming more than friends with occasional benefits. Contracts are hardly foolproof, however, and those in rural areas don't always consider them binding if a city-dwelling spouse is away for an "unreasonable" amount of time.

Children born to unmarried or casually-committed parents are the norm, and may take either the mother's or father's surname. A child is considered property of his or her parents until they come of age. One or both parents are expected to care for their children until said offspring are recognized as adults, though due to the fluid nature of Moorvic relationships children may have little to no contact with their birth parents. Moorvic society has no strict gender roles when it comes to child-rearing, though babies are more likely to spend time with their mothers until they are weaned (goblin children are exempt from this trend for obvious reasons). Situations where there are more than two partners in a relationship have children cared for by whomever stays at home. This can result in one parent having children in multiple settlements. The particularly wealthy employ slaves as nannies.

One of the first things a Moorvic child will learn is their known family history. Most Moorvics in urban areas can only trace their lineage back a few generations. This is slightly easier in rural areas, though details tend to be fuzzier the further back one goes. Noble Moorvics take great pride in their extensive geneologies; being able to prove one's pedigree back across certain numbers of generations is a source of esteem.

While abandoning children is distasteful, giving them to another adult with a small stipend is accepted, and it is not uncommon for unwanted offspring to change hands multiple times during leaner years. Orphaned children are generally either given over as apprentices (assuming they have not already been selected for a trade), sent to the nearest monastery, or given to any surviving family. This assumes that there is anyone around to oversee the process; the streets of Lowercity are filled with forgotten orphans.

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