Rekkuris Marriage And Family

Long-term relationships in Rekkuris are most commonly formalized according to the customs of its pre-Way inhabitants. Several types exist; most do not imply monogamy, and the most formal and exclusive are rare and usually politically motivated. Childcare customs differ by region and religion; some children are raised by their extended family, others in centralized creches associated with religious authority, though mixtures of both are most common.

Like most aspects of its culture, marriage and childrearing customs in Rekkuris are influenced both by the customs of the Way's early followers — at that time a culture unto themselves — and by those of Rekkuris's non-relur natives.

Shilalein's early disciples did not systematically formalize sexual relationships; as menhit reproduction had previously been dictated largely by their creators' whims, and even among non-menhit followers few consistent traces of any particular culture had survived captivity, few cultural reference points remained. Faced with the need to educate and control a growing population, the followers of the nascent Way arrived at a system of raising children communally, originally on an ad-hoc basis but later as an arm of religious instruction.

Meanwhile, the indigenous inhabitants of Rekkuris' outlying plains — then mostly humans and goblins — wedded under a tiered system of formalities reflecting each union's status and purpose. Formal marriage in these societies was exclusive and exclusively heterosexual, reflecting an alliance of clans and the mingling of their bloodlines; it did not, however, necessarily imply sexual monogamy. Less formal unions of various types were also celebrated: one type formalizing concubinage (either of women or men, and not necessarily heterosexual), another describing long-term non-cohabiting sexual relations. Formalized non-sexual unions between social groups were also known: these established sworn brotherhood and an alliance of clans, sometimes even of different species, without any expectation of children.

As these cultures merged, a hybrid system began taking root. Much regional variation still exists in the present day, with more urbanized and highly religious populations hewing closer to the Way's traditional model and more rural populations adopting indigenous roles, but in most regions a mixture of the two prevails. Fully formal marriage has grown rarer with the weakening of traditional clan ties in favor of religious: in the modern day it is almost always chosen for political reasons, and accordingly carries political as well as social weight. Other types of union are more common; the most orthodox strains of the Way refuse to recognize them or indeed any formal union, but they are accepted by its mainstream.

Childcare in regions where the Way is dominant almost always revolves around some form of centralized religious instruction. Most commonly, children are placed at the time of weaning into creches overseen by scholars of the Way, where they remain until they take up an apprenticeship or trade at the age of eleven to thirteen. The participation of their biological parents and other clan members varies; highly orthodox sects of the Way might require all children of their adherents to be raised communally and sharply limit contact with family, while more flexible denominations might limit creche time to that needed for direct religious instruction except among orphans and wards of the religion. An average urban congregation would likely allow children two to three hours with parents and relatives daily, while an average rural band might allow children to sleep at their parents' fires before returning to the creche in the daylight hours.

In terms of social status, children are seen as a valuable but not quite mandatory contribution to clan and congregation. Siring or bearing many healthy children is a source of pride and can cover for a certain number of deficiencies in character, so long as those deficiencies are not passed on to offspring; conversely, childlessness is not necessarily shameful for an otherwise exceptional individual. A typical citizen of Rekkuris might expect some mild social stigma if they have not produced acknowledged children by about age twenty-five.

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