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The Velan Ascendancy used to be known as ​​House Vela, one of the Houses Major of the Empire, located on Haqani in the Perithr system. In the Empire, they were the keepers of the star charts and builders of the Great Library Server.They were one of the pillars of the Empire and rediscovered the sector during the Rebuilding. The VIII. Emperox was Emperox Vela Padma Noy, also known as The Shining Star.

For main article, see House Vela


After ​​House Vela joined the Sector Trade Organization, signed the Treaty of Cabina, and one of the STO’s members, the A.C.R.E. corporation, attacked House Aquila on Diomikato, ​​House Vela was cast out of the Empire and stripped of its nobility. A move that seemed to have been predicted by the Velan government as House Vela closed its borders, evicted residents of other noble houses, and sent the non-Velan noble students of their universities home several weeks prior to this event.

In the wake of this event, the people of Perithr declared themselves a free and independent nation, The Velan Ascendancy, and established a system of democratic meritocracy. The transition from the Imperial system to the new independent government is commonly called The Velan Reformation.

For main article, see Velan Declaration of Independence

The Velan Ascendancy remains one of the important faction of Acheron Rho and continues to shape the sector by its actions.

For main article, see Velan Faction Turn Fluff

Places of Influence

Homeworld & Home System

The Velan Ascendancy's primary star system is Perithr in Hex 0606.

Ascendancy 2k
The Velan Ascendancy's home planet and center of government is the planet of Haqani, an atmospherically-corrosive world with a strange and alien biosphere that is immiscible and deadly to humans. All of Haqani's population resides in subterranean habitat cities built long before the Scream to protect the population from the elements and in a few floating cities made from alien material.

For main article, see Gamma Velorum - The Floating Cities

Much of the Velan Ascendancya's other major infrastructure, like the Great Library and the College of Navigation, can be found on the moon Pharos. The moon has become a major destination for business and diplomatic visits, though it is only secondary in importance to Haqani on that front.

Influence Outside of the Home System

The Velan Ascendancy has established an outpost on the Planet Ergus in the Solequon System. Velan researchers have located a Preceptor Archive on this planet and aim to claim it for the Ascendancy.

A second outpost was established on Lodestone in the Home System as an embassy to House Pyxis. This outpost is contested after the Velan Declaration of Independence.

Political System & Government Organizations

The Velan Ascendancy is a democratic meritocracy. All citizens of the Velan Ascendancy are free people, contributing to the success of the nation. Each municipality is governed by an Assembly of Ìràwọ̀, elected by all residents of the municipality. Note that research stations, and mining operations throughout the Perithr system, as well as registered ship crews and the outposts on Ergus and Lodestone are also recognized as municipalities.

The Grand Forum

GrandForum

The Grand Forum on Haqani

The Velan parliament is called the Grand Forum and is located underneath the original landing site on Haqani. Every municipality in the Velan Ascendancy sends delegates to the Grand Forum, according to the size of the settlement. These delegates are known as the Assembly of Oníràwọ́.

Titles: Ìràwọ̀, Oníràwọ́

For main article, see Velan Titles

The Archon

The head of state is the Archon, who is elected every 8 years by direct vote from all Meritorious Citizens. The Archon forms a cabinet of ministers, who help them govern the Velan Ascendancy. The head of state also appoints Rasul as diplomats to other factions and governments.

Titles: Archon, Rasul

For main article, see Velan Titles

The Ministry of Merits

MoM
A new branch of the Velan government post-reformation, the Ministry of Merits (coll. M.o.M. or MoM), is responsible for reinforcing the meritocracy system by evaluating and rewarding Velan citizens for their positive contributions to society. All Velan citizens have equal rights under the new order, but special recognition, access, and rewards are only available to those that contribute to the productivity and greater good of the Velan Ascendancy.

The Ministry of Merits is largely operated by Musir and Khutat personnel, with oversight and supervision by the new Musharaf Political Officer Cadre.

Mission Statement: To end the imperial dregs of corruption, greed, negligence, and selfishness in the sovereign Velan sphere through positive reinforcement of service to the community and volunteerism.

Checks and Balances: The Ministry of Merits is subject to investigation and review by the Grand Forum under conditions of a legitimate cause. In return, the Ministry of Merits has authority to demerit any and all Velan citizens when warranted, including government officials at all levels, particularly in cases of corruption.

Titles: Musharaf

Musharaf (Arabic for supervisor): Responsible for the implementation and governance of the Merit System. They identify Deviants and educate the populace about the new system.

For main articles, see Velan Ministry of Merits as well as Velan Titles

The Court of Rights

(coming soon)

Mission Statement:

Checks and Balances:

Titles

For main article, see Velan Titles

The Assembly of Creditors

The Assembly of Creditors is the banking and economic control system of the Velan Ascendancy. The Assembly operates in a federal-socialist style banking system wherein it sets interest rates, tariffs, and most economic policy within the bounds of the marketplace. The Assembly also also helps to establish the Ascendancy's budget which has to be approved by both the Archon and The Grand Forum. 

After the Ascension, there was a great debate about what to do with the former revenue that had been going directly to House Vela. After prolonged debate it was decided that the former revenue from taxes would go into several pools:

  • The first pool - Vox Astrorum: Determined to be 10% of the annual budget this is a discretionary pool for use by The Grand Forum. 
  • The second pool - Vox Archonis: Determined to be 9% of the annual budget this is discretionary to let the Archon fulfill their meritorious political agenda so long as it is not countermanded by a Grand Forum vote barring the spending. 
  • The third pool - Vox Populi: This pool is approximately 1% of the total budget which is left entirely discretionary. The discretion being in control of the voting masses (anyone in good merit standing). Any rank 4 or higher meritorious citizen can propose a plan of any scope to go onto the ballot. 
  • The fourth pool - Vox Domi: This pool is where the majority of the budget goes, formed through a series of advisements and economic estimation this non-discretionary spending forms the backbone of the government spending of The Velan Ascendancy.
  • The fifth pool: [redacted- Merit Score insufficient] 

[Merit Score 6+ authenticated - Expand to the Right]

Faction Secret: The fifth pool - Vox Vinculorum: 15% of the annual budget disguised to be unnoticeable. This amount of budget is for use by the Conclave to ensure order.


The Assembly itself is a minimalist network departments, at the top of this is a panel of persons called The Commonwealth seen to be pillars of industry and wisdom who are elected for life terms. Candidacy for the position is determined by the Grand Forum as a function of net wealth, economic influence, stewardship of businesses and merit score. One member of the commonwealth is given the senior designation as Magistar. This member serves as director and chairperson of the Commonwealth able to call and dismiss meetings, assign agenda items and other administrative duties.

The Assembly maintains various sub-agencies to handle different realms of economic and trade policy. The Economic Enforcement Agency is chief among these in notoriety. This semi-militarized agency is given the responsibility of reclaiming economic assets from deviants along with the bureaucratic or otherwise enforcement of The Commonwealths economic directives. Recently the citizens of the Velan Ascendancy have taken to nicknaming the enforcers “Coins” due to the large seal displayed on their pauldron resembling the style of ancient currencies. This has quickly come to the attention of the Kashuar who have taken to calling fresh recruits “minted” in response.

Other sub-agencies include the Credit Control Consulate, Bureau for More Meritorious Workers, Bureau for More Meritorious Businesses, and The Velan Emergent Exchange (VEE).

Mission Statement: To seek ascendance we must spend, to spend we must raise, to raise we must work. To work is to be meritorious. 

Checks and Balances: Budget has to be approved by the Archon and the Grand Forum, checks other institutions by having life terms for The Commonwealth.

Titles: Magistar, Aushuar, Kashuar, Sona, Tahir / Tajamie / Tahsildar

For main article, see Velan Titles

The Foundation of Education

The new entity formed after the Velan Reformation made to manage the network of Lyceums and Musaeums across the Velan Ascendancy. It is run by the Grand Sufiya and works to keep the Ascendancy’s new generations well equipped to face the problems of the sector.

The Foundation also secretly finances a series of secret laboratories, founded shortly after the Scream by the Surya family, who still owns and operates the research facilities.

For main article, see Velan Research Black Sites

Mission Statement: To teach citizens the tools to understand the wonders of the Universe and how best to use them in the service of the Ascendancy.

Checks and Balances: To prevent poor education, indoctrination, and corrupt teachers the MoM has oversight on who teaches. Also the The Grand Forum can launch an investigation if there is concern of malpractice.

Titles: Khutat, Fakri, Hakarata, Ustadh, Mudaris, Eamid, Grand Sufiya, Adhya, Mahais, Talib, Shaelam

For main articles, see Velan Foundation of Education as well as Velan Titles

The Vikeli

The Velan Ascendancy has a very small, specialized military with an emphasis on special forces, covert ops, logistics, and general security. It is known as Vikeli (= Zulu for "sailors" and "protectors") or simply The Protectors. The Vikeli are mainly visible as they accompany Navigators (depending on the safety of the customer and route) and guard the Velan Ascendancy’s Great Library and College of Navigation. The Vikeli are consisting of both former nobles and serfs and operate mainly Perithr-wide.

The Vikeli maintain several black ops sites on Haqani for political prisoners or other high value assets (e.g. terrorists, pirates, corporate spies).

For main article, see Holding Facilities on Haqani

Titles: Oramiral, Kaymakam, Kolaghassi, Musir, Shamshir, Immortal, Cavus, Umzingeli / Abazingeli, Jemadar, Faris

For main article, see Velan Titles

The Role of the Royal Family

The Velan Royal Family has wholeheartedly embraced the politics of the Velan Ascendancy. Not only did the former Velan Emperox and the Royal Šāh sit on the Transition Committee, that helped implement the new political system, the Shining Star also signed the Velan Declaration of Independence , and the Royal Šāh gave a rousing speech at the birth of the young nation.

The Royal family nowadays mainly focuses on charitable works and sponsor promising artists. They have also set up an annual talent fair, where everyone can enter, showcase their skills, and earn additional merits.

The Council of 12

Having been part of the Transition Committee, the Council of 12 disbanded after the Velan Ascendancy was established. Most members of the twelve families serve dutifully as public official in the new nation.

For article about the former role of the Council of 12, see House Vela's Council of 12

The Four Branches of Old Velan Society

All members of House Vela were part of one of four branches of Velan society. While many of the titles in short and long form are still used, the Velan Reformation has done away with this artificial split. The citizens of the Velan Ascendancy pool all their resources and talents to elevate the new society.

To learn more about all old Velan titles and long form titles, see Velan Titles

Products & Services

The Great Library & Information Services

The Great Library Server is the biggest library and server in the known universe. Some say the records of the Velan Ascendancy go back to the time where humans first discovered the Acheron Rho sector.

There are rumors that Velan record keeping dates back to times before humans ventured from Earth. But no-one has been able to verify this so far.

The Great Library offers various services from free information to research assistance that can be requested from every system in the sector.

For main article, see Great Library Information Services

Star Charts & Navigation

The Velan Ascendancy is creating, storing, and updating star charts. The Lighthouse Integrated Navigation & Exploration System (LINES) is used by many ships in the sector. LINES is updated by Velan Khutat on a daily basis. Updates to LINES can be acquired either as package deal or through a subscription service. Hiring a Navigator of The Velan Ascendancy usually comes with a free update to LINES. Updates to LINES are distributed via the Sector wide Network of Obelisks, which are part of the Exchange stations.

For main article, see LINES Subscriptions & Services

LINES also provides a free monthly navigational forecast for the Acheron Rho sector, that gets distributed by PRISM as widely as possible.

For main article, see LINES Navigational Forecast

Velan universities were the only ones allowed to train people in navigation. Imperial law required a House Vela or Vela-trained navigator aboard every star ship operating in sector Acheron Rho.

The Museaum of Pharos & College of Navigation

The Musaeum of Pharos is the most renown education facility for navigation. Getting accepted as a student requires to be spotted by one of the Velan scouts or to go through a lengthy application process.

Velan Sector Catalogue Number

When first mapping the sector, The Velan Ascendancy had to find a way to number the different sector regions in an easy to understand manner. The House's navigators came up with a simple system of combining two number pairs to be able to translate drive space into a simple 2D representation. These numbers are known as Velan Sector Catalogue Numbers (VSCN) or Hex Numbers (Hex#).

Vela Navigators
VelanFashion1

The uniform of a Vela Navigator

Vela Navigators are easily recognizable by their bright Velan Blue uniform with face veil. They are praised as the most talented navigators in the system and are sworn to absolute neutrality while serving on a ship.
Immersion and the Zen of Navigation

According to The Velan Ascendancy, the ability to interpret and use the Star Charts is only available in the mind of a Navigator. While candidates from outside of The Velan Ascendancy learn this on a solely scientific basis, The Velan Ascendancy Navigators take a different approach to navigating ships. They focus their mind through ancient meditation practices when they don their veil. Commonly this is known as Navigator Trance.

Technically Vela Navigators aren't doing anything different than any other navigator. Their spiritual preparation and almost religious dedication to the craft make it seem different in the eyes of the public though.

Immersers

Some Velan Navigators make a pilgrimage to the planet Ergus in the Solequon system to see the second Preceptor Archive in Acheron Rho, and then travel back safely to the Perithr system. Each Navigator must travel alone in a ship in their own possession. They must endure the loneliness of the Void and be all alone beneath the stars. Only Navigators, who went through this experience, have the right to the title Immerser.

Synth Navigators

There are rumours that some projects and collaborations with House Cygnus were approved to teach highly developed Synths in navigation.

Culture

Language & Cultural Background

The Velan Ascendancy is primarily rooted in Middle Eastern, African, and Indian / Pakistani traditions. The predominant languages spoken are Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, and Hausa. The House uses a wide variety of alphabets, and signs are usually written in at least three different languages plus the common trade language.

Get some first impressions of the Velan Society here.

The Velan Ascendancy is very diverse, not only in cultures of Origin, but also in current duties, places of birth, and philosophies. There are 4 very clearly distinguishable cultural backgrounds in House Vela, or rather 3, as one the cultural groups left the House to form House Pyxis.

Cultural Background: Haqani

Haqani is the origin and heartland of the Velan Ascendancy. It is the place where the old noble families resided and where the Velan Ascendancy's politics are made. Haqani’s citizens are usually conservative and fiercely loyal to the nation. They are proud of their accomplishments and perseverance, always prepared for new catastrophes, and mistrustful of everything and everyone non-Velan. This can border on isolationism.

Traditional roles: Politicians, protectors, and historians

Predominant religion: The High Church has been the core spiritual ideology for most Velans historically, though more and more citizens convert to the Church of Humanity, Repentant following the signing of the Treaty of Cabina.

Common sayings:

  • Haqani and proud.
  • Strong as Her bones.
  • We can do it!
  • What have they ever done for us?

Cultural Background: Pharos

Pharos is the intellectual hub of the Velan Ascendancy. The moon’s citizens enjoy scientific and philosophical debates and are used to collaboration with all other Houses and corporate entities. Pharos’s citizens are usually open, poly-glottal, and eager to engage in debate. They are open to adopting new ideas and running experiments. This can border on recklessness.

Traditional roles: Scientists, teachers, programmers, and navigators

Predominant religion: High Church or Church of Humanity, in general less religious than other Velans

Common sayings:

  • WDLS (What does the Library say?)
  • Sometimes you just have to try.
  • Smells like discoveries!
  • Debate me!

Cultural Background: Sumgin 2, Maintenance Ships, Shuttle Service, "Trade" Network

The orbit around Haqani is very busy and many Velans maintaining the space station and ships around the planet never travel down the gravity well. Instead they live in tight-knit families and crews on their ships. They uphold old traditions from before landfall and see themselves as the grease that keeps the system going. These "spacer" Velans are usually practical and goal oriented. They follow a "live and let live" philosophy, but are fiercely protective of their nation. Many see themselves as the first line of defense for Haqani and Pharos.

Traditional roles: Engineers, mechanics, navigators, protectors

Predominant religion: Many follow the old Soul ex Sol religion, nowadays a sect of the Church of Humanity.

Common sayings:

  • Nothing a bit of wire can’t fix.
  • Crew is family, family is crew.
  • Eyes to the stars.
  • Live in the now.

Cultural Background: Exploration Fleet

The crews and families of House Vela’s exploration fleet were a key factor in the remapping of the sector. They were driven by scientific curiosity and a desire for discovery.

During the reign of The Shining Star this part of the old House Vela split off to form House Pyxis.

The Family Structure

The Status of Twins in Velan Society

In Velan families twins are believed to be special. Linked spiritually, the firstborn of the twins is known as Taiwo while the second is called Kehinde. For the succession in the family it is important to note that the second twin is considered the elder twin. The reason for this is that the Taiwo is sent by the Kehinde to judge if the world is fit and beautiful before they descend.

Education

Lycaeum

For all citizens of the Velan Ascendancy schooling starts at home with parents teaching their children up until the age of eight. At eight they will enter the public schooling system by attending a Lycaeum. Lycaeum are ultimately run by the Yimaru but most Lycaeum are run day to day by the student body in order to teach leadership and administration skills. Additionally older students will be encouraged to teach younger students on subjects that interest them. There are no exams to sit simply research projects that are graded accordingly by the Yimaru and those working under them, these are also passed to the Khutat to be added to the Great Library if appropriate. Students leave the Lycaeum once they are fourteen and have handed in a final dissertation.

Musaeum

Following education as a Lycaeum most will attend a Musaeum. Musaeums will focus in on a students main area of interest and train them to be experts in that particular field. The subject area of navigation is given special attention and taught differently to the rest.

After the Treaty of Cabina was signed and all non-STO students of the Musaeum were sent home, the Musaeum of Pharos was opened to all citizens of the STO. The Eskendria Navigation College and Research Institute started mainly running courses for navigators, who have to renew their LINES Account Number (LAN) at the Department of Space Vehicles (DSV), while the non-noble students of the institute gradually transferred to the Musaeum.

Rites of passage

The Graduation Race / Pilgrimage to Ergus

Some Velan Navigators make a pilgrimage to the planet Ergus in the Solequon system to see the second Preceptor Archive in Acheron Rho, and then travel back safely to the Perithr system. Each Navigator must travel alone in a ship in their own possession. They must endure the loneliness of the Void and be all alone beneath the stars. Only Navigators, who went through this experience, have the right to the title Immerser.

Marriage, Old age and Death

Marriage Practices

Group marriage is very common in the Velan Ascendancy. In fact every marriage contract has the option to add more spouses later on so long as everyone in the marriage agrees to this.

While many arrange marriages to solidify contracts and ties between families and businesses, love marriages are also not entirely uncommon.

Burial Rites

It is customary for Meritorious Citizens to be shot into the star of the nearest solar system, although many of the more prominent families are bringing their dead home to Haqani or Pharos for funeral ceremonies, culminating in shooting the deceased into Perithr. This way the Velan sails for one last time "On Sails of Light." This manifests the Velan believe that they reach a state of Nirvana and become one with the universe after death or reincarnate.

This burial tradition goes back to the Age of Rebuilding after The Scream when many Velan ships set out to rediscover the worlds of the sector to recreate the star charts. Velan sacrifices were high and burials held wherever the ship was at the moment as it wasn't guaranteed that the crew would return to the Perithr system.

An important part of the Velan Ascendancy's burial traditions is remembrance. Each Velan becomes part of the living memory of the House in form of the Great Library Server. Memorial celebrations and the "speaking of the name" also play a big part in this.

Religious Practices

The Velan Ascendancy doesn't have any restrictions when it comes to religious practices and any Velan can believe whatever they want.

Predominant Religions

The High Church of Messiah-as-Emperorx

The majority of the citizens of the Perithr system are in favor of the High Church. This support was always strong, but became almost fanatical when The Shining Star took the Throne. Since the Shining Star signed the Treaty of Cabina a slow shift to the "Old Religion" Soul ex Sol and the Church of Humanity in general can be registered.

The Church of Humanity, Repentant

The Church of Humanity has supporters mainly in the scientific community of Pharos and the spacer community of the Perithr system. Many of the followers of the Church of Humanity traditionally follow or rediscover an old Velan cult, which has developed into a sect of the Church. With the Shining Star signing the Treaty of Cabina, a slow shift towards the Church of Humanity can be seen in the Perithr system.

These are the predominant sects that can be found in the Velan Ascendancy:

Soul ex Sol

Soul ex Sol has its origin in the spacer culture in Haqani's oribit. The Velan version of the sect is mainly focused on the warship of stars as source of life and light. According to them every human carries The Light in themselves and is responsible for spreading it by living a good life and performing acts of kindness. After the recent rediscovery of old Earth documents in House Vela's Preceptor Archive, more and more Velans consider it possible that not only humans but all living things carry at least a spark of The Light within themselves, maybe even Aliens. This has led to some heated discussions, which also include debates if Synthetic Humans can be considered alive. The closer House Vela’s ties with the Church of Humanity get, the more Velans become convinced that all life is sacred, and that Synths are indeed alive.

Infinite Chant of the Soul Indivisible

These believers were probably originally part of Soul ex Sol. Coming from the stars and going back into their light might have been their core belief, which developed into the conviction that everyone shares in the World Soul. Velan followers of the Infinite Chant of the Soul Indivisible usually call this shared soul the Star Soul.

The Sky is a Lie

The Sky is a Lie has come to prominence among the former serf population in the cities closest to Haqani’s core. Never having left their places of birth these parishioners grow up with the belief that the simulated sky they see above them is real. Once they discover that what they thought to be real sky is artificial, they go through what is called “The Awakening” and come to the conclusion that all skies are only a lie.

Guardians of the Way

(coming soon)

Meditation & Navigation

Navigation was always a big part of the Velan Ascendancy and some Velan navigators take this to an almost zealous extreme. Their lives revolve around navigation and their attempts to reach the perfect state of Navigator Trance. To this end they spend a lot of time studying the stars and star charts as well as practicing meditation. This can be either in the form of seated Zen meditation or Sufi dancing. Their goal is to achieve a transcendent state that lets the Navigator become one with the universe while still alive.

The Speaking of Names

For the Velan Ascendancy everything that exists needs to be cataloged in the Great Library. Over the course of the centuries this also has lead to a believe in the reverse: Only what is part of the Great Library truly exists.

Combined with the Velan believe that they reach a state of Nirvana and become one with the universe after death or reincarnate, this led to the tradition of the Speaking of Names. The life and deeds of the dead are diligently recorded in the the Great Library and during festivals or anniversaries, the names of the dead are read out loud to keep them in the living memory of the House.

Fascination for Leaderboards

The drive to contribute to society is ingrained in the citizens of the Velan Ascendancy, which makes them very competitive in their work and personal life. Every municipality, every place of business, every factory, every school, and even every charity has a multitude of leaderboards, comparing key skills and encouraging the citizens to always be their very best.

Government recognized achievements and honors are even displayed on national leaderboards, which can be accessed from every datapad in the Perithr system. They are also on display in various official buildings and places, as well as in the National Museum of the Bastion of the Dutifully Aware.

Proverbs, Sayings & Greetings

Velan proverbs, sayings, and greetings revolve heavily around naval traditions and navigation, as well as the preservation and gathering of knowledge. Haqani's corrosive atmosphere and immiscible biosphere has also influenced Velan sayings, as being outside has become synonymous with a hostile environment.

For main article, see Velan Proverbs, Sayings, and Greetings

Fashion

Velans usually wear long, flowing garments in bright colors, although many citizens of the Velan Ascendancy tend to wear blue. Velan culture doesn't have any gender restrictions when it comes to fashion, everyone can wear whatever they want.

All Velan Navigators wear a face veil to indicate that they are trained at the Musaeum of Pharos, although some have it only attached to one side of their face. Many citizens, who didn’t get this training, imitate this in their fashion choices and face veils can be seen worn by many on Haqani and Pharos.

Fabrics are often heavily decorated with prints, appliqués, or embroidery. Accessories like turbans, shawls, stoles, canes are also very popular, as well as filigrane jewelry.

(Expand gallery to the right)


Holidays

Days of Ascension

The day the Velan Ascendancy declared their independence is a festival for all free Velans. It is celebrated by excessive feasts, cultural events, and dance parties that last for a whole week, commonly called the Days of Ascension. "Burn bright, burn blue," is a chanted and braziers with blue flame line the streets. Children can be seen burning symbols of the empire and the noble houses in it, a reminder of the first few bloody weeks after the Velan Reformation.

The Great Journey

The Great Journey was a holiday hosted by the noble Houses Vela, Fornax, and Pyxis, held in recognition of the sacrifices made during the reunification of The Empire. The festivities took place over the course of a number of days in the month of January, during which the celebrants traveled from Maja to Haqani to Imperial Prime. These trips were often taken in historic space ships that were built during the the Rebuilding.

It is unclear what will become of this tradition now that the Velan Ascendancy is not part of the Empire anymore.

Turtle-Horse-Day

Turtle-Horse Day was a fairly new holiday that originated in an obscure theater play and TV show shortly after the split between House Vela and House Pyxis. It had since become a public holiday in both Houses, commonly celebrated by expressing the commonalities and differences of the Houses. It was also the day of the year where families torn apart by the split came together to honor and strengthen their bonds by sharing a meal and stories about their ancestors. This often ended in heavy drinking and partying.

It is unclear what will become of this tradition now that the Velan Ascendancy is not part of the Empire anymore.

Cuisine

Velan food production almost entirely relies on mushrooms and microfungi. With modern food techniques developed in the culinary institute of Derinkuyu, these mushrooms can substitute for almost every common and many uncommon ingredients.

Especially Haqani's population still remembers times of scarcity though. The family coming together to share at least a meal a day is a high priority for all Velans. Usually this is the last meal of the day, which is taken rather late in the day.

These family meals consist of a selection of several dishes, all served at the same time on large trays and plates in the center of the table. Dinner guests then use flatbread to take the food they want by hand. While less common, it is also accepted to use cutlery or chopsticks.

Common dishes: Kebab, Falafel, Humus, stuffed vegetables, Mezze, Tsebhi, Maafe, Shawarma, Curry, Daal, Naan, Tajine, Couscous, Pastilla

Common desserts: Baklava, Malva pudding, Shuku Shuku, Halva, Kheer, Ras malai, Modak

Common beverages: Tea (especially mint and apple tea), Masala Chai, coffee, Ayran

Entertainment

Entertainment, art, and the finer things in life are as varied as the multitude of cultures the Velan Ascendancy is rooted in. From the wild and libertine atmosphere of Babili to the sophisticated heights of Pharos, Velan artists are as diverse as they are passionate. Here just a few of the most famous artists of the House.

Ẹnu-Ọna

A Velan electro-acoustic band, highly influenced by the rediscovered religion The Way. Their songs revolve around the topic of traveling and being on a journey, be that in reality or spiritually.

Listen to a sound example here.

Anzali

Velan rap artist, who grew up in the space station Sumgin 2 in Haqani’s orbit. He was rumored to have ties to democratic movements and his songs mostly deal with theocracy, poverty, censorship, child labor, executions, and drug addiction. He is an avid supporter of the newly formed Velan Ascendancy.

Listen to a sound example here.

Illuminous

Originally a group of Velan historians at the Pharos Musaeum. Through their research they discovered the beauty of traditional Earth music and are since then trying to recreate it. They are known for their Byzantine style, countertenor lead singer, and the light installations that accompany their live concerts.

Listen to a sound example here.

Océane Lemaire

Océane Lemaire is a Tyros native and channels the mysterious atmosphere of Haqani’s twilight city in her music. Her melodic songs often revolve around death and decay, but also touch on philosophical and religious themes.

Listen to a sound example here.

Bakr Barış

Contemporary playwright most famous for being the writer of Behind the Veil, which lead to the TV show of the same name and ultimately to the celebration of Turtle-Horse-Day. Bakr Barış is still active and using his substantial wealth from the rights to Behind the Veil to put each of his new plays on the stage of the most famous theaters in Perithr, regardless if they are successful or not.

Ameerah Vela Marro Samira

A famous Velan artist from the mid-to-late 2800s. Samira spent much of her early life traveling the far reaches of the Empire and studying the arts with her Lyran relatives. Much of her work is famed for its commentary on the duality of imperial culture by illustrating the struggle between peace and violence throughout the history of the Empire.

Rumors

Everything in this section is not commonly known. If people hear about it, then in whispers and half-truths.

The Conclave

The Conclave is supposedly a secret society of the ruling elite, made primarily of the ex-noble members of the now-defunct Council of 12, known to only a select few. Following the Velan Reformation, with the power and authority of the Royal Family now stripped from them officially, the Conclave has introduced the reigning Royal Šāh as the ruling chair of the Conclave. Members of the Conclave are heavily involved in the upper levels of Velan government and industries, manipulating politics and the economy in order to pursue what the Conclave sees as the core tenants of the Velan agenda in their post-imperial government.

The Academy of Service

After the upheaval of the Velan Reformation, a government institution known as the “Academy of Service” was established in a restricted area near the grounds of the Forbidden City. Described by the Ascendancy as a technical school for the “at-risk and incapable”, rumors abound regarding its true function. The prevailing theory is that it is a reeducation camp for influential “Deviants” that the state cannot afford to kill off.

The Redactor

Nobles who served in higher functions and were privy to House secrets display strange gaps in their memory, sometimes not being able to recognize family members and childhood friends. Rumor has it that this is the work of the Redactor, a psionic member of a specifically bred branch of the Royal family, who is a high-ranking member of the Musir.

Some say the Redactor is still active and now working for the newly formed Ministry of Merits.

The Secret Library

There are rumors abound regarding a mysterious font of knowledge maintained by the Velan Ascendancy, commonly referred to as the Secret Library among the more "romantic" spacer circles throughout the Sector. The exact nature of such a facility or entity is unknown and all rumors are unconfirmed.

Revenge of the Navigators

There is talk amongst Spacers that whoever kills a Velan Navigator just vanishes. Spacefarers get lost in space. Inhabitants of planets or moons get up one day and never arrive at their workplace. Coincidence? You tell me.

Further Resources

For main article, see The Velan Ascendancy Social Media